Retirement and pensions The pension and annuity rules are changing. The need to plan for the future has not. … This content is only available to our registered users. Please log in or create a free account, to gain access to our extensive business, personal and tax guides. Login (Forgotten login?) Create new account Pension changes The last of the 2014 Budget pension changes came into effect on 6 April 2015. There is a raft of new measures relating to the buy out of annuities from 6 April 2016. The 2015 changes provide for greater access to pension funds and remove the obligation to invest in an annuity. Further changes are likely to be announced in 2016. Qualifying for a state pension The Government has changed the age rules for qualification for the state pension. Currently the state pension age is between 60 and 65 for women and 65 for men. The changes mean that retirement age for women will be equalised with that for men at 65 by 2018 and both will increase to 66 from 2020, to 67 from 2026/28 and to 68 by the mid 2030s. Planning for retirement For many people their retirement plans have been devastated by various falls in stock markets, low annuity rates and the lack of growth in the buy-to-let marketplace. How will the removal of the requirement to buy an annuity affect you? Many may question what chance there is of a 'comfortable retirement'? Pension premiums There are limits that may be contributed to a registered pension scheme without incurring a tax charge. The maximum amount on which an individual can claim tax relief in any tax year is the greater of the individual's UK relevant earnings or £3,600. Pension contributions and tax relief There are limits on how much can be invested in a pension scheme before a tax charge is payable. Pension credit Details of pension credits for the current year. Stakeholder pensions Stakeholder pension schemes are low-cost pensions meant for people without existing private pension arrangements. They were originally targeted at people who earn more than £10,000 a year and who cannot join an occupational pension scheme. They have, however, turned out to have much broader appeal. State pension deferral State pension deferral is the right to defer entitlement to the state pension. In return for deferring a lump sum accrues with interest added to the deferred entitlement at a rate normally of 2% over bank base rate. Therefore the deferral claim cannot accurately be evaluated in advance. Examples of the potential lump sum entitlement are shown in our tax rates.