Individuals who currently benefit from tax protection  for their pensions savings are at risk of inadvertently  losing that protection, as a result of the requirement  on employers automatically to enrol employees in a  workplace pension scheme.

Over the past few years, the government has  reduced the ceiling on tax-efficient pensions savings  that an individual can make (from £1.8 million to  £1.25 million), as well as the annual amount that can  be saved tax-efficiently. Individuals can take steps  to protect their existing limits (so that these are not  eroded), but it is vital to realise that such protection  can be lost in certain circumstances.

The likelihood of the protections being lost is  significantly increased by the requirement for  employers automatically to enrol most employees  into a pension scheme. The requirements for auto  enrolment are being introduced in stages depending  on payroll size but are applying to more and more  employers. The risk is that if an individual with  protected pension limits is inadvertently enrolled into  a workplace scheme (or is even, in some cases,  provided with death in service cover) they could lose  their individual protection. It is important to be aware  of this risk and identify any individuals who might be  affected before auto enrolment takes place. Given  the level of lifetime pensions savings involved, these  individuals are likely to be at director level, including,  possibly, non executive directors.