Executives could find that the cap doesn't fit

Executives who joined company pension plans after June 1989 and have pensionable earnings above the current cap of £76,800 may find they have less to live on in their retirement than they think, according to a report published today The study by Monks Partnership, the remuneration advisers, and Buck Consultants, the consulting actuaries and benefit consultants, suggests that many companies are dealing with the issue by giving executives unfunded pension promises, saying they will make a top-up payment later.

But this may expose them to large future liabilities, which - once they become material - will have to be provided for in the company's report and accounts.

David Atkins, of Monks Partnership, editor of the report, Top Level Pension Practice, said: "From company comments, it is apparent that some have not explored all the possible alternatives before deciding on their policy towards the earnings cap. It is also questionable whether some of the currently evolved policies will be acceptable or sustainable as the number of capped executives and other high-earning employees increases."

For the moment, though, few companies outside the financial sector have more than 10 capped employees. Even in the financial sector, nearly half of companies make no special provisions for earnings-capped executives and more than half make no provisions for life assurance above the cap.

The pensions earnings cap was introduced in the 1989 Finance Act and limited the pensionable earnings that could be used for the calculation of benefits under an approved pension scheme. The idea is that high earners should not be excessively subsidised by less well-paid taxpayers. However, the cap does not apply to those who joined before June 1989.

When introduced, the level was £60,000. But increases in line with the rise in the retail prices index have raised it to the present £76,800. Following the announcement in last November's Budget, it will rise further, to £78,600 from 6 April.

Besides limiting contributions, the cap restricts benefits. For a typical final salary plan, the maximum pension is limited to two-thirds of the earnings cap, a maximum of £52,400 from April. However, executives can also put aside money for their retirement through unapproved schemes, such as those based in offshore tax havens or straightforward savings plans, which would, of course, be subject to normal taxation.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits