Having now received the official communications that give the detail behind the words uttered in the Commons today I can now give the final picture.
I was originally confused because the Chancellor announced new limits on income withdrawals, but didn't state they would be removed in 2015 when the new rules come into force. It therefore appeared contradictory.
In other words I was wrong !! Thanks George !!!
It is good news, the chancellor is delivering many of the changes requested by our customers.
These are the changes as they affect customers with defined contribution pots.
Maximum Age Pension Benefits can be released : 55 (no Change)
Maximum percentage of fund that can be taken Tax Free : 25% (no Change)
From 27 March 2014
Income percentage from Income Drawdown increased from 120% to 150% based on Government Actuarial Department (GAD).
Minimum Annual Guaranteed Pension Income to qualify for Flexible Drawdown reduced from £20,000 per annum to £12,000 per annum. This allows many more customers to take their fund in one go during 2014.
If you have a pension fund worth £10K or less you can take it all as a lump sum (25% Tax Free). You can do this with up to three pots irrespective of any other pensions you hold.
If the value of all your pension pots combined (including pensions in payment) is £30,000 you can take it all as a lump sum (25% Tax Free).
From April 2015
There will be no GAD or Flexible Drawdown limit - You will be able to use your fund how you want. The first 25% of your fund will be paid to you TAX FREE, the remaining 75% will be taxed as income (as it is now) however you can choose how much to take.
These changes address many of the concerns that have been put to us by customers. We feel those with small pots will be better off being able to access them, likewise those with larger funds can also use them as they want but may need to ensure withdrawals are tax efficient.