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What is Tapered Annual Allowance?

Welcome to our blog, where we unravel the mysteries of finance and simplify complex concepts for you. Today, we dive into a topic that has been puzzling many in the financial world: Tapered Annual Allowance; if those words have left you scratching your head or feeling slightly intimidated, fear not! We’re here to break it down for you in an engaging and accessible way.

So grab a cup of coffee and join us as we demystify the enigma that is Tapered Annual Allowance – because knowledge is power when it comes to managing your finances effectively!

 What is Tapered Annual Allowance?

 What is Tapered Annual Allowance?

The Tapered Annual Allowance (TAA) is a mechanism used in the United Kingdom to reduce the annual allowance for pension contributions based on an individual’s adjusted income and threshold income. The annual allowance sets a limit on the amount of tax-relieved pension contributions that can be made each year without incurring additional tax charges.

For the tax year 2023/2024, the standard annual allowance is £40,000. However, under the Tapered Annual Allowance rules, the annual allowance is gradually reduced for individuals with income above a certain threshold. The adjusted income threshold is £240,000, and the threshold income is £200,000.

If an individual’s adjusted income exceeds £240,000 and their threshold income exceeds £200,000, the annual allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 of adjusted income above the threshold, subject to a maximum reduction of £36,000. This means that the lowest tapered annual allowance an individual can have is £4,000.

How Exactly Does the Tapered Annual Allowance Work?

When it comes to the Tapered Annual Allowance, two key thresholds are crucial to determining its application. These thresholds include:

  1. Threshold Income: The threshold income is currently set at £200,000 for the tax year 2023/24. It encompasses all sources of income, including earnings, investment income, and employer pension contributions. If an individual’s threshold income exceeds this limit, their annual allowance may be subject to tapering.
  2. Adjusted Income: Adjusted income refers to the total income an individual receives, including any pension contributions they make themselves. If someone’s adjusted income surpasses £260,000, the tapering of their annual allowance commences.

Understanding the Tapering Process:

The tapering of the annual allowance takes effect once an individual’s adjusted income exceeds the £260,000 threshold. Here’s an overview of how the tapering process works:

  1. Reduction Rate: For every £2 that an individual’s adjusted income exceeds £260,000, their annual allowance decreases by £1. This means that for every additional £2 of income above the threshold, their annual allowance is reduced by £1.
  2. Minimum Annual Allowance: The tapering continues until an individual’s annual allowance reaches a minimum level of £10,000. Once an individual’s adjusted income has surpassed the point where their annual allowance has been reduced to £10,000, further increases in income will not affect their annual allowance.

How Do I Calculate My Tapered Annual Allowance?

How Do I Calculate My Tapered Annual Allowance?

Calculating your Tapered Annual Allowance (TAA) may seem like a complex task, but with a little guidance, you can navigate through it smoothly.

Step 1: Gather Your Income Information:

Begin by gathering the following pieces of information:

  1. Total Income: This includes all sources of income, such as earnings, investment income, and employer pension contributions.
  2. Pension Contributions: Take into account any personal pension contributions you’ve made during the tax year.

Step 2: Calculate Your Adjusted Income:

To calculate your adjusted income, simply add your total income and your pension contributions together. This will provide you with your adjusted income figure.

Step 3: Check if Your Income Exceeds the Thresholds:

Verify whether your income exceeds the following thresholds:

  1. Threshold Income: If your total income is below £200,000, your annual allowance won’t be tapered.
  2. Adjusted Income Threshold: If your adjusted income is less than £260,000, your annual allowance won’t be tapered.

Step 4: Calculate the Reduction (if applicable):

If both your total income and adjusted income exceed their respective thresholds, you need to calculate the reduction in your annual allowance. The reduction follows this formula:

For every £2 your adjusted income exceeds £260,000, and your annual allowance is reduced by £1.

Step 5: Apply the Reduction to the Standard Allowance:

The standard annual allowance for the 2023/24 tax year is £40,000. Subtract the calculated reduction amount from the standard allowance to determine your tapered annual allowance.

Step 6: Ensure Minimum Allowance (if applicable):

Take note that the minimum tapered annual allowance is £10,000. If your calculated amount falls below this threshold, use £10,000 as your tapered annual allowance.

Example Calculation:

Let’s consider an example for better understanding:

  • Total income: £280,000
  • Pension contributions: £30,000
  • Adjusted income: £280,000 + £30,000 = £310,000
  • Income exceeds the threshold: Yes, since £280,000 > £200,000.
  • Adjusted income exceeds the threshold: Yes, since £310,000 > £260,000.
  • Reduction: (£310,000 – £260,000) / 2 = £25,000
  • Tapered allowance: £40,000 – £25,000 = £15,000
  • Minimum allowance check: Not applicable in this case.

In this example, the tapered annual allowance would be £15,000.

Will I Be Affected by the Tapered Annual Allowance?

The tapered annual allowance is a topic that has been causing quite a stir in the pension world. Many individuals are left wondering if they will be affected by this complex system. The answer, unfortunately, is not straightforward and depends on several factors.

It’s important to understand that the tapered annual allowance was introduced to limit high earners’ pension contributions and their subsequent tax relief. If you have an income above £260,000 and a threshold income above £110,000, then you may fall into this category.

However, it’s not just about your income level; other factors come into play as well. For example, if you have significant employer contributions or make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs), these can also impact your tapered annual allowance.

It’s worth noting that certain groups are exempt from the taper altogether. This includes those with defined benefit pensions and those who earn less than £40,000 per year.

What Are the Changes in Pension Tapered Annual Allowance for 2023?

What Are the Changes in Pension Tapered Annual Allowance for 2023?

In the ever-changing landscape of pension regulations, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest changes that may affect your financial planning.

  1. Minimum Tapered Annual Allowance: The minimum tapered annual allowance has been raised from £4,000 to £10,000. This means that even if your tapered allowance falls below £10,000 due to high earnings, you can still claim at least that amount of tax relief on your pension contributions. This change ensures that individuals with larger incomes can continue to benefit from tax relief.
  2. Adjusted Income Threshold: The adjusted income threshold has increased from £240,000 to £260,000. This adjustment means that the tapering of your annual allowance will start later, allowing higher earners more leeway to claim full tax relief on their contributions. This change provides greater opportunities for individuals with higher incomes to maximize their pension contributions.

Other Changes:

  1. Threshold Income: The threshold income remains unchanged at £200,000. However, with the increase in the adjusted income threshold, it becomes less relevant to determine who will be affected by the tapering. The adjusted income threshold now plays a more significant role in the calculation of the tapered annual allowance.
  2. Tapering Rate: The rate at which the annual allowance is reduced remains consistent, with each £2 of adjusted income above £260,000 resulting in a £1 reduction in the annual allowance. This means that as your income surpasses the threshold, your annual allowance will gradually decrease, allowing for a smoother transition.
  3. Tapering Stops: The point at which tapering stops remains at £360,000 of adjusted income, where the annual allowance reaches the minimum of £10,000. Once you reach this threshold, the tapering no longer applies, and your annual allowance remains fixed at £10,000 regardless of income.


Understanding the tapered annual allowance is crucial for anyone with a high income and a pension plan. This complex system helps determine how much you can contribute to your pension while still receiving tax relief.

In recent years, changes have been made to the tapered annual allowance, affecting higher earners who may face reduced allowances and potential tax charges. These adjustments aim to strike a balance between providing incentives for retirement savings and ensuring fairness within the tax system.

Remember that everyone’s situation is unique when it comes to pensions and taxation; therefore, personalized advice tailored specifically to your circumstances should always be sought before making any significant decisions regarding retirement savings.


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