Tax relief has always been an incentive to save in pensions. In addition, there is another huge reason for higher earners to pay into pension schemes before the end of the tax year.
Taxpayers with an income of between £100,000 and £125,140 have their basic personal allowance £12,570 reduced by £1 for every £2 above the income limit. The personal allowance can be reduced to nil.
For example, based on the basic personal allowance of £12,570 for 2022/23, an adjusted net income of £125,140 or above would mean that no personal allowance is available and taxable (non-dividend) income in that £25,000 band is effectively being taxed at 60%.
By paying £20,112 net into a pension (£25,140 with tax relief) this means the gross income is reduced to £100,000 thereby getting your full £12,570 personal allowance back.
Net Income Without this pension contribution
Net Income With £20,112 net (£25,140 gross) pension contribution
Summary After Pension Contribution: A £10,056 lower income into your household but you have an additional £25,140 in your pension fund. You are technically £15,084 wealthier than you would have been without the pension contribution. That’s the equivalent of a ‘whopping’ 60% tax relief (£15,084/£25,140)%.