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SIPP tax relief: understand the private pension tax rules and benefits

Financial security in retirement is a significant decision that many people take very seriously. For individuals who want more control over their retirement resources, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is the best option.

What does SIPP stand for?Self-invested personal pension
What is the SIPP annual allowance?£40,000
Is SIPP a personal pension?Yes, it is a type of personal pension
What percentage is the SIPP tax relief UK?•Basic rate taxpayer = 20%
•Higher rate taxpayer = 40%
•Additional rate taxpayer = 45%

SSIP Tax Relief is one of the top benefits of opening a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), a special type of pension. Investments in a SIPP are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax, much like investments in other pensions. The SIPP also allows you to take a more active role in the investments and consolidate all of your pensions into one pot before retirement, SIPP also offers an affordable and flexible way to manage your pension fund to meet your changing needs, but what makes SIPP Tax Relief the top benefit of SIPP, and how does SIPP Tax Relief work?

Learn more about SIPP here.

What is SIPP tax relief and how does it work?

A contribution to a SIPP, like any other defined contribution pension, is tax-deductible at your marginal tax rate.

SIPP tax relief is essentially a government contribution to your pension designed to encourage the habit of saving for the future. The money invested in your SIPP and other pensions is topped up by 20%.

Every 80p you pay in is topped up to £1, and the benefit is deposited into your pension pot rather than the government.

What are the rules and limits on SIPP tax relief?

Residents and workers in the UK older who are 75 years or older aren’t eligible for tax relief. The UK government limits the number of tax-deductible pension contributions you can make. The annual savings limit and the pension annual allowance also limit your SIPP tax relief.

If your pension savings exceed a certain amount, you must usually pay a tax charge.

Under the carry-forward rule, if you have already used up your yearly allowance, The maximum amount of tax relief is 100% of your annual earnings. The pension annual allowance is £40,000, which is the maximum amount you can save in your pension pots in a tax year before having to pay tax, and the lifetime allowance is £1,073,100, which is the total amount you can save in all your pension savings without incurring a tax charge.

If your pension savings are more than your annual allowance, you can carry forward unused annual allowances from the previous three tax years. With the carry-forward rule, you can make up to £160,000 in pension contributions.

You must pay enough tax at a higher or additional rate to receive the full 40% or 45% tax relief. After the age of 55, you may only be able to access 25% of your savings.

How much will I get from the SIPP tax relief?

Your income tax bracket determines the amount of SIPP tax relief you can receive.

Higher-income earners-rate or Additional-rate taxpayers can claim additional tax relief on their self-assessment tax returns than basic rate taxpayers.

It is critical that you are aware of the pension annual allowance, which limits the number of pension payments on which you can claim tax relief.

How to claim pension tax relief

There are different ways to obtain tax relief depending on the type of pension you are contributing to; for a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), this is done through “Relief at Source.”

If you are a higher-rate or additional taxpayer, you can reclaim the additional tax relief owed to you by filing your annual Self-Assessment Tax Return. You can withdraw your crystallised pension and use income drawdown to access your pension assets. When you begin receiving income from your SIPP, your annual contribution limit is reduced to £4,000. This is known as the MPA (MPAA).

Using a tax calculator, compute your tax bill, file your tax return, and claim any pension tax reductions.

Tax relief rates (Basic-rate taxpayers and non-earners, Higher and additional rate taxpayers)

In England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can claim tax relief. On your Self Assessment tax return, you can claim additional tax relief for the following contributions to a private pension:

  • 20% for basic-rate taxpayers
  • 40% for higher-rate taxpayers (for anyone earning over £50,270 annually)
  • 45% for additional rate taxpayers (for anyone earning over £150,000)

Claim tax relief in Scotland

Income tax and pension tax relief are applied slightly differently in Scotland. The Scottish income tax rates for basic-rate taxpayers are 20%; for middle-income earners, 21% tax on any income you have paid; 41% or 46% tax for higher-rate taxpayers.

Tax relief for non-taxpayer or unemployed

What if you don’t pay taxes? If you are a non-taxpayer, including non-working spouses or children, or have a low income, you are still eligible for a 20% tax break. This is equivalent to the £2,880 personal pension contribution you make each tax year.

Remember that you can save 100% of your income into a pension and receive tax relief as long as your annual allowance does not exceed £40,000.  Ensure you have sufficient knowledge and experience in making investment and pension decisions.


Who is eligible to own a SIPP?

Anyone under the age of 75 who lives in the UK can open a self-invested personal pension. In addition, employees of the Crown who live abroad, their spouses, and civil partnerships can also contribute to a SIPP.

What are the SIPP risks?

Even though SIPP is a tax wrapper, The SIPP account is affected by stock market volatility as funds in the SIPP account are invested in the stock market. 

What are the tax advantages of a SIPP?

You get tax relief on pension contributions based on your income tax band. Return on investments within a SIPP is exempted from income and capital gains tax. When you reach the age of 55 or retirement age, you can take out a 25% lump-sum tax free. 

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