Benefits of topping up your individual pension

As you fund an individual pension yourself, the more you pay in, the more potential there is for you to achieve the retirement you want. You could also get tax relief on additional contributions, so it's worth considering topping up your pension.

What difference could it make?

For example, if you're a basic rate taxpayer and you paid in £80 per month to your personal pension, HMRC will add another £20 a month in tax relief. Over say 20 years this equates to £4,800 just in tax relief added to your pot.

And if you earn above the basic rate of tax, you can also claim additional tax relief through your tax self-assessment form. You can also do this online.

Plus you could make an even bigger difference to your pension pot by topping up your contributions, although tax relief is subject to government limits. To find out more please visit

This is for illustration only and is based on our current understanding of current tax legislation and HM Revenue & Customs practice, both of which may change without notice. The impact of tax (and any tax relief) will depend on your individual circumstances.

I live in Scotland – how does tax relief work for me?

If you make direct payments to us we’ll automatically claim tax relief for you, adding the basic tax rate of 20% to your contributions. If you pay the Scottish starter rate of Income Tax (19%), you still get relief at 20% and HMRC won’t ask you to refund the extra – so no action required from you. If you pay more than basic rate tax, then you’ll need to complete a tax return to claim back the extra tax relief from HMRC.

For more details on the Scottish Rate of Income Tax, please visit

Please remember that the value of your pension fund can go down as well as up so you might get back less than you put in.

We recommend you get financial advice to help you make decisions about your pension savings and your retirement options. If you don't have a financial adviser, you can find one at

Topping up - the earlier the better

Topping up your pension could boost your income in retirement. And the earlier you start, the more potential your fund has to grow.

If your plan rules allow it, you can opt for an automatic premium increase (API), by adding an extra 5% to your premium every year, increasing your fund's potential to grow.

Share the article

More information

All Pensions, Retirement Planning and Life Events Guides

Our articles, guides and videos can help you learn more about saving in a pension and retirement planning.

What are Individual Pensions?

There are three main types of individual pensions - personal pensions, stakeholder pensions and self-invested personal pensions.

Need help? Have questions?

If you're looking for further information or want to chat about your product options, we can help.

Contact us