Pension v repayment of Student financeWatch
I don't believe it is the first £2,000 per annum which is ignored. Rather that if the pension income is below £2,000 pa then it is not taken into account. However if it is above £2,000 then it is ALL taken into account. So this threshold could have a significant impact around that monthly level. It could be more cost effective to take a lower pension if at the £2,000 threshold if possible.
I think you're correct, and my initial reading was wrong, sorry. This seems pretty clear:
...Take into account the total amount of unearned income. The first £2000 is not exempt...
...Unearned income is included only if a statutory return has been issued to the borrower...
...Do not create an SA record solely for Student Loan purposes. Do not restrict a repayment of tax to account for Student Loan liability if, exceptionally, no return has been submitted....
My reading of it is that if a person does not trigger self-assessment, then HMRC does not bother collecting student loan payments from the person's unearned income whatever the income. For the best of my knowledge, receiving a pension per se does not trigger self-assessment.