MPAA aside, reductions in both the annual pension contribution allowance and the lifetime allowance have curtailed the use of pensions as a savings medium. However, there may be an opportunity to pay contributions to the scheme of a spouse or civil partner or cohabitee.
The person benefiting from the third-party contribution will receive tax relief against their total earnings up to £40,000 p.a. and up to £3,600 if they have no earnings.
If the contribution is made on behalf of the scheme member it will be regarded as a gift for the purposes of inheritance tax (though exemptions are often available). But if cash is given to enable a spouse or civil partner to pay their own contribution, this will constitute an exempt transfer for IHT.