Tax matters.

The tax on pensions matters

For our 650,000 annuitants, making sure we pay them accurately and on time is critical. However, making sure we apply the correct tax code is critical to another key customer – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

We have been providing employees with valuable insight and training on how to deal with customers’ pension tax queries better. We held an independent review of the way we communicate with our customers and we are jointly working together with Tax Volunteers to influence HMRC policy and practice to create fairer tax treatment for pensioners.

In some cases our customers are getting access to Tax Help’s valuable knowledge to get their pensions tax position resolved with HMRC.

For our Annuities Payments Service (APS) teams in Kingswood and Cardiff, it’s important they’re able to give meaningful advice to all those customers who contact them looking for clarification on how their pension income is taxed. That’s why our partnership with TaxHelp (tax volunteers), which we announced in July, is so important.

"Whilst the vast majority of tax codes are applied automatically via electronic data feeds from HMRC, this doesn’t prevent us from receiving many queries from our customers on how they have been taxed. We often have little alternative but to refer our customers to the HMRC to get their queries answered. Tax Help have provided us with a much deeper understanding of how both PAYE and the HMRC operate, enabling us to answer more queries directly, or to assist our customers in asking the right questions of HMRC. TaxHelp has also taken on direct referrals relating to customers who are often on state benefits and confused by how their pension is taxed.

I’m convinced that by building on our partnership with TaxHelp, we’ll be helping our customers have a much more positive experience.”

Mike Trowbridge, Senior Operations Manager, Annuities

We can now provide an even better service

Carol Pavely, from TaxHelp ran a course for 32 employees covering a wide range of situations that have an impact on how our pensions customers are taxed. The course covered:

  • How PAYE works.
  • How personal tax codes are calculated.
  • The tax impact of having more than one income.
  • The particular tax impacts of incomes from more than one pension.
  • How state benefits impact tax codes.

Those who went on the course now understand how we’re all taxed and, more importantly, how crucial it is to our customers that we apply tax codes quickly and accurately.

“The training from TaxHelp was clear and informative, and as a result I have far greater confidence in responding to our customers’ tax queries. The course has helped us build a strong relationship with TaxHelp.”

Jemma Jackson, APS team manager, Kingswood


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