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The tax treatment of UK defined contribution pension schemes

  • Economics


The paper aims to clarify the tax status of pension schemes in the UK and, by using economic and other arguments, to establish a theoretical benchmark that could be considered the ‘appropriate’ tax regime for pension saving. We consider existing tax regimes for saving (such as the ‘ISA’ regime) and theoretical regimes (such as a pure expenditure tax and a comprehensive income tax) and we compare the costs different tax regimes impose on defined contribution pension schemes. We conclude that an expenditure tax is an appropriate benchmark tax regime for pension saving, and that other tax regimes impose additional financial as well as administrative costs.

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