An idea to allow couples to contribute to a “joint pension fund” has been slapped down by the government.

In a question to parliament, Baroness Burt asked whether the government was looking into recommendations made in a recent report that would allow working partners to contribute to a non-working pension fund, or contribute to a joint fund.

Responding to the question, Lord Bates argued that a joint pension would go against the current system which has been in place since 1990 and ensures that individuals are taxed on: “their personal income, their own tax-free personal allowance, and their own set of tax thresholds.”

“This fundamental principle provides everyone with absolute confidentiality for their personal tax affairs,” he explained. “For this reason, the government is not currently considering changing this policy.”

Lords Bates also said that savers were already capable of making contributions of up to £2,880 each year to a personal pension, self-invested personal pension or stakeholder pension, and that contributions can be funded by a working partner.

Read more: Actuaries sceptical of government plans to reform DB pension schemes

The study Baroness Burt referred to was the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation’s Dependency Trap report, which was released in January.

It argued that working partners should be allowed to contribute to their other half’s pension pot, with the recipient getting tax relief from the contribution.

The news follows research out today from Prudential which found that women retiring in 2018 will have 29 per cent lower income than men, amounting to nearly £5,000 annually.

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