Rule 42: Right to commute pension into a lump sum
165.Under the Finance Act 2004 a person who is a member of a tax-registered scheme may exchange (commute) part of their pension entitlement for a tax-free lump sum called a “pension commencement lump sum”.(10) The maximum portion of pension that may be commuted under the Finance Act 2004 is 25%, otherwise the payment would be an unauthorised payment in terms of section 160 of that Act (see part R, paragraphs 407-421).
166.Under rule 42(1), an individual who qualifies for a scheme pension (under Part F - Pensions, Part H - Early Retirement and Part I - Ill-health) may commute part of their pension into a tax-free lump sum by giving notice to the Fund trustees.
167.Rule 42(2) determines that the notice must be in writing and details the portion of the pension to be commuted at rule 42(2)(b). Rule 42(2)(a) requires the notice to be given before the earlier of the day on which the pension is first paid or the individual’s 75th birthday. Under the rules for payment of a “pension commencement lump sum” a scheme participant aged 75 or over cannot commute part of their pension for a pension commencement lump sum and any such payment would be an unauthorised payment. Rule 44 makes special provision for members approaching age 75.
168.Rule 42(2)(c) requires that the individual must also provide information to allow the Fund trustees to determine the amount payable and to confirm that the retirement lump sum would be a pension commencement lump sum. One of the requirements for a “pension commencement lump sum” is that all or part of the scheme member’s Lifetime Allowance is available.
Paragraph 1 of Schedule 29 to the Finance Act 2004