Access your pension


For most of us, saving for retirement is one of life’s most important – and most challenging – financial goals. That's why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to take advantage of the tax benefits and flexibility offered by your SIPP.

Paying into your pension

As with other types of pension, a SIPP’s main advantage is the tax benefits you receive– one of the most important being tax relief on your contributions. So making the most of your pension allowances is key. The amount you can personally pay into any pension (including your SIPP) and benefit from tax relief is based on your earnings. As a general rule, you can contribute up to 100 per cent of your earnings per tax year and receive tax relief on the full amount. However if your total contributions (personal and employer) are more than £40,000 per tax year then a tax charge may apply on the excess. This £40,000 yearly limit is called the ‘annual allowance’. You may have a lower annual allowance if you have a high level of income.

When you make a personal contribution up to the level of your earnings, you’ll receive basic-rate tax relief of 20%: meaning that paying £1 into your SIPP only costs you 80p. But if you pay a higher rate of tax, you can claim extra tax relief via your self-assessment tax return. Read more on contributing to your SIPP.

Setting up payments into your SIPP

You can make the most of your annual allowance by making both personal and employer contributions to your SIPP. To set up a regular personal or employer monthly payment into your SIPP, complete a Direct debit form and post it to us. Alternatively, you can make a single payment by debit card or cheque.

Set up regular payments Make a single payment Set up employer contributions

Consolidating your pensions

Many people accumulate multiple pension pots throughout their career – and it can become difficult to keep track and manage them all. A simple solution is to consolidate these pensions into your SIPP, making managing your retirement savings much more straightforward.

Before you go ahead and transfer pensions to your SIPP, there are a number of factors you should consider. To help you decide whether it’s the right move for you, read more about consolidating your pensions.

Tracking down lost pensions

It's easy to lose track of an old pension scheme, especially after you change jobs. If you need help finding an old pension, you can use the government's Pension Tracing Service, or call 0345 6002 537.

How do I access my pension?

You can normally access the money in your pension from age 55 (increasing to age 57 from 2028). If you’re now approaching this age and want to learn more about the options available to you, have a look at our Accessing your pension guide. When you turn 55 and have decided how you want to access your SIPP, you can start the process by returning to this page.

What you do with your pension is a very important decision. That's why we strongly recommend you seek professional advice or guidance. An FCA-regulated financial adviser can help you choose the right option for you. Alternatively, you can better understand the choices available to you by consulting the government's free guidance service, Pension Wise.

A guide to drawdown

Drawdown has become the most popular way to access your pension. Our FREE guide tells you everything you need to know.

Pension Wise
Pension Wise

Pension Wise is a free, impartial government service that offers guidance about your pension options.

You can book an appointment with Pension Wise by visiting their website or by calling 0800 138 3944. Pension Wise isn't a substitute for full, regulated financial advice.