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How many pensions can you have?

“How many pensions can you have?” is a common question and the answer to this question can be found by reading this Moneyfarm guide. Also, discover the various pension options, in what situations they are most appropriate, and how to ensure you amass a good pension amount for your retirement years.

#️⃣ Is there a limit to the number of pensions I can have in the UK?No, you can have multiple pensions
🤔 Can I have both a defined benefit and a defined contribution pension?Yes, you can have both pension schemes at the same time
🤑 Can I contribute to multiple pensions at the same time?Definitely. However, do not exceed the annual allowance
💸 Can I transfer multiple pensions into a single pension plan?Yes, you can transfer multiple pensions to the best-performing pension plan that you own

Let’s start with the state pension. Every UK citizen is entitled to one as long as you’ve paid the minimum amount of Nation Insurance contributions. To qualify for any pension, you must have made 10 years’ worth of contributions. To get the full state pension (£203.85 per week), you must have made 35 years’ worth of NI contributions.

Now let’s address the question of how many pensions can you have, setting your state pension aside.

How many pensions can you have apart from your state pension?

Setting the state pension aside, you can have as many other pensions as you like, and it goes across the board. If you’re wondering, “How many SIPPs can I have”, or “How many workplace pensions can I have”, the answer is the same – as many as you like.

How many personal pensions can you have?

Personal pensions are usually set up by individuals who are self-employed or who do not have access to a workplace pension scheme. All pension contributions into a personal pension are made by an individual. A personal pension is a defined benefit pension scheme that is also considered to be a private pension.

There is no limit to the number of personal pensions an individual can own.

How many private pensions can you have?

A private pension is a pension scheme that you or an employer sets up. Therefore, it can be a workplace pension or a personal pension. A private pension can be a defined contribution pension scheme or a defined benefit pension scheme. Private pensions are often funded by both employer and employee contributions.

So, under this explanation, you can also classify a SIPP and a Stakeholder type of pension as private. You can have as many private pensions as possible, both workplace and personal pensions.

How many stakeholder pensions can you have?

We already mentioned earlier that you can have as many Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) as you like, and the same goes for a stakeholder pension plan.

If you are self-employed, you will need to set up a self-employed pension. SIPPs and Stakeholder pensions are both good candidates.

Let’s just revisit workplace pensions again.

How many workplace pensions can you have?

Most new workplace pension schemes today are defined contributions, but regardless of the type of workplace pension you have, the same answer to the question of “How many pensions can you have” applies – as many as you like.

There are two types of workplace pensions. The first is the defined benefit pension plans, which are also knowns as the final salary schemes. The second type of workplace pension is the defined contribution scheme, also known as the money purchase scheme.

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Due to auto-enrolment, most UK citizens have several different employers during their working lives. Therefore, it is quite possible to accumulate a number of different workplace pensions and pension pots.

This begs the question, “How do I find out how many pensions I have?” If you’d like to know more about trying to track down lost pensions, there is a useful article entitled “Tracing Old Pensions” on the Age.UK website.

What are the downsides of having more than one pension?

In order to maximize your retirement savings, it is essential that any pension you have is performing effectively. It is possible that some pension funds may be experiencing slow growth rates, so it is important to review and compare which investments have performed in order to identify the best options.

What you don’t want to do is to keep having to manage several different pensions. It’s cumbersome and time-consuming. Managing several pensions can be more complicated than it needs to be. Although you can have as many pension accounts as you like, your total pension contributions shouldn’t exceed £60,000 in any tax year. You can make the mistake of exceeding the maximum contribution tax relief if you contribute to several pensions during the tax year.

Should you combine multiple pensions into one?

Even if you are not likely to pay into your pensions more than £60K per annum, it’s still good financial advice to ensure all your pension pots are growing at the best rate. Knowing how to transfer your pension is easier than you might think.

We here at Moneyfarm know all there is to know about how to combine pensions, so find out how many pensions you have, get in touch with us with the details of the accounts, and we’ll do the rest.

You can pay into two pensions at the same time, but do you want to? You’ll find it much easier to pay into one pension, not several, and it gives you a better chance of maximising growth. That means that when you come to take out your 25% tax-free lump sum, it could be a considerable amount of money.

If you’ve targeted an early retirement age, that lump sum could come in very handy, and the good thing is that with compound interest doing its thing, it could also leave plenty in your pension for drawdown when you need it.

Is pension income taxable in the UK? Yes, it is taxed according to the income tax band into which you fall. HM Revenue demands their due, but you can determine how much they’ll take by careful drawdown management of your crystallised pension.


Is it common to have multiple pensions?

Yes, it is common for people to have multiple pensions, particularly if they have had a number of employers over the course of their careers.

What should I consider when managing multiple pensions?

When managing multiple pensions, you should consider the costs and expenses related to each pension plan, the available investment possibilities, and how each pension fits into your overall retirement planning.

Can I receive multiple pensions at the same time?

Yes, you can receive multiple pensions at the same time. If you did not consolidate your pensions, you will receive multiple pensions as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each pension.

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Capital at risk. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

*Capital at risk. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.