The annual allowance applies to the total pension contributions made to an individual’s schemes and/or benefits built up over a period called the pension input period that ends during the tax year.
A pension input period normally lasts for one year, but doesn’t necessarily cover the same dates as a tax year. The pension input period is specific to each pension arrangement so an individual with a number of pension schemes may have different PIPs for each. The pension provider or scheme administrator should be able to provide the amount of contributions or value of accrued benefits during the pension input period.
From 6 April 2016 the pension input period will be aligned with the tax year as explained in more detail in this guidance from HMRC.