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 would add another £20 in tax relief. Over 20 years this would add up to a total pension contribution of £24,000. Broken down, 20 years equals 240 months. So, 240 x £80 = £19,200 in pension contributions and 240 x £20 = £4,800 in tax relief.

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.

If you're a Scottish Rate tax payer, your Personal Allowance and rate of income tax is the same as the rest of the UK. However, the amount you can earn before paying higher rate tax will be £31,093 (totalling £43,662 which includes the £12,570 personal allowance).

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.

Topping up your pension could boost your income in retirement.

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.

And if you opt for an automatic premium increase (API), by adding an extra 5% to your premium every year for instance, your fund could have more potential to grow.

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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.

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