What is a pension? Pensions are a 'tax advantaged' method of saving funds for your retirement. What are the contribution limits, allowances and rules?

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to pensions. 

Why pay into a pension?

Personal pensions

You may pay tax-relieved contributions into your own pension scheme up to the level of your Relevant earnings in the tax year.

Pension savings are subject to both annual and lifetime contribution limits.



to 2025/26










Annual limit 40,000
Lifetime limit 1,073,100 1,055,000 1,030,000 1,000,00 1,000,000


See Pensions: tax charge for excess contributions

Employer contributions

See Employer pension contributions.

Pensions auto-enrolment

See Pensions auto-enrolment contribution rates and thresholds

Planning and pitfalls:

See Pensions: Unauthorised payment charges

Useful guides on this topic

Pensions: tax rules and planning
What tax rules apply to pensions? What tax relief is available? What tax charges can arise? What planning opportunities are there? 

Employer pension contributions
Is there a taxable employment benefit if an employer makes contributions to an employee's pension scheme? What are the rules for employer pension contributions?

Pensions: Unauthorised payment charges
What is a pensions unauthorised payment? When does a tax charge arise? Who pays the charge? 

Auto-enrolment: detailed guide to workplace pensions
This guide looks at the key features of auto-enrolment, who is affected, what employers need to do, and the relevant timescales.

DIY: Small Self Administered Schemes
An SSAS can be set up by an employer to provide benefits for members, usually on a defined contribution (money purchase) basis and run by solely by member trustees. You can create and run your own SSAS.

Pensions: tax charge for excess contributions
When does a tax charge arise for excess contributions? What are taxpayers' responsibilities under Self Assessment? 

Pensions contributions: personal v company?
Is it more tax efficient to pay pension contributions personally or via your own company?

Pensions: What happens when you die?
What happens to your pension when you die? What tax is due by your estate? Will your family have to pay Income Tax if they receive your pension going forward? What can you do to mitigate any tax charges? 

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