§ Sir Andrew Bowden
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amount of trivial occupational or private pension can be converted into a lump sum; when the figure was last increased and from what sum; and what plans to increase it. 
§ Mr. Jack
Under the rules for occupational pension schemes, commutation on grounds of triviality is currently permitted if the aggregate benefits, including the pension equivalent of any lump sum benefits, payable from all schemes in respect of the employment are not more than £260 per annum. If total benefits exceed that amount, any residual pension left after taking the normal lump sum retirement benefit cannot be commuted even though it may not exceed the triviality limit.
The limit was increased from £104 to £260 in 1991.
There are no existing arrangements under the personal pension scheme rules to allow the conversion of trivial pensions to lump sums. However, as from 6 April 1996 procedures will be in place to allow personal pension funds which are insufficient to buy a pension of at least £260 per annum and total £2,500 or less to be taken in cash.
The Inland Revenue periodically reviews all administrative limits and announces any changes at the same time. The triviality limit for both occupational and personal pension schemes will be reconsidered at the time of the next review.388W