The government has confirmed that "now is not the right time" to undertake significant reform of pensions tax policy, such as moving to a flat rate of tax relief.
The refrain is after a consultation on proposed changes to tax relief which could have seen higher- and additional-rate savers moved to a lower flat rate.
However, in a letter to AJ Bell, Treasury financial secretary Jane Ellison ruled out any change in the short term, as well as an independent pensions commission.
AJ Bell had written to the Treasury in February ahead of this month's Spring Budget, calling on the department to not make any short-term policy changes and adopt a "more measured, long-term approach" to pensions tax policy.
It added any changes should be informed by an independent review of the system.
"As you are aware, an extensive consultation was conducted last year which considered changes to the pensions tax framework," Ellison wrote. "This concluded that now is not the right time to undertake significant reforms.
"Given this, the government does not think it is necessary to convene an independent pensions commission at this time."
The commitment suggests that the earliest any changes that may be made will be at the Budget in Autumn 2018, with the ongoing preparation for Brexit likely to push this back further.
This year, pension tax relief will cost the government an estimated £38.2bn, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data, up from £34.9bn in the 2014/15 financial year.
AJ Bell chief executive Andy Bell welcomed the change and said, if the government changed its mind in the short term, its credibility would be damaged.
"Pensions tax relief has for too long been the piggy bank that chancellors raid when they need to fund a high profile new initiative," he said. "As a result, it is constantly the subject of feverish speculation ahead of Budget statements.
"While the chancellor has not been able to resist tinkering completing through the unnecessary cut to the money purchase annual allowance [MPAA], hopefully the Treasury's response to us gives people some comfort it will not subject pensions to more unnecessary uncertainty, at least during this parliament.
"If the government does turn its attention back to higher rate pensions tax relief, it will seriously undermine its credibility."
This month's Spring Budget included a number of changes to the pensions system, some of which had previously been announced at the Autumn Statement.
Chancellor Philip Hammond introduced a 25% tax on transfers to qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) and confirmed the MPAA would be reduced from £10,000 to £4,000.
Gowling WLG director Chris Stiles added: "The last significant overhaul of the regime was in 2006, but there has been extensive tinkering with it since then, which still continues (the latest being the reduction to the money purchase annual allowance). There are also regular rumours of more drastic reform. This has all caused huge complexity and uncertainty for schemes and members.
"Nothing lasts forever, though, and while today's confirmation may give respite for the time being, the cost of tax relief to the Exchequer is such that the issue is bound to come up again at some point."
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