HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published Pensions Tax Simplification Newsletter No. 31. The Newsletter contains a summary of the pensions changes that were published at the Prebudget Report on 9 October 2007 (see our November Update for more), along with a number of other items and guidance. In particular, it contains a link to the results of a review of the open market option which HMRC and DWP have jointly been conducting. On this point, HMRC has clarified with the pensions industry that tax legislation allows pension schemes to offer an annuity under an open market option without having to provide a pension themselves.

The Newsletter is available at

HMRC has also published a note on the effect of the retrospective changes outlined in the Prebudget Report which are not yet officially in force. Broadly, the note says that schemes may rely on the relevant announcements contained in the Pre-budget Report without fear of sanction, even though this would be at odds with the existing law. A copy of the note is available at