HMRC took extended powers in Finance Act 2018 to limit both the registration of certain new pension schemes and de-register some existing schemes. This was intended, so they said, to limit the scope for pension scams and “pension liberation” schemes.
At the time many advisors, including us, warned that the powers taken were draconian and too wide ranging and could be used to justify action against legitimate pension schemes. In response, a relevant Pensions Minister gave assurances – to our MP amongst others - that HMRC would not use its power in relation to legitimate schemes. Despite these assurances HMRC appear to have decided, for no obvious reason, to target schemes where the Employer has become dormant. HMRC does not appear to be looking currently at schemes where the Employer has been wound up.
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