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Stupid pension question


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Probably a stupid question, but easiest to answer.

Assuming I’m lucky enough to hit LTA charges in thirty years, do I only pay those higher rates (55%) after I crystalise, and on the amount over? Some sites seem to suggest it’s on the whole thing but that seems mad. 

As of today it’s about 1.03M. So if I had 1.1M and was retiring tomorrow and buying an annuity (not that I’d do that), would they only hit me for the extra £70k?

The relief on the SIPP seems far to generous to be sustainable currently. 

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