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What is a pension?

In short, a pension is a tax-efficient way of saving for your retirement. In the UK, there are lots of different types of pensions, but the three main types are workplace pension, personal pensions, and state pensions. Wealthify offers a Self-Invested Personal Pension, letting you complement any workplace pensions and benefit from a 25% top up from the government’s tax relief – which we’ll automatically add to your account!

How much can I pay into a pension?

Currently, there’s no limit on how much you can pay into your pension, however you won’t receive tax relief on anything over £60,000 or 100% of your salary, whichever is lower. The £60,000 limit includes all payments, including the government top up and employer contributions – so it is actually £48,000 of your contributions, plus £12,000 tax relief.

If you go over this limit you won’t receive tax relief and will have to pay an annual allowance charge which will be added to the rest of your yearly taxable income. If your income is less than £3,600 a year, you will only be able to contribute up to £2,880.


Can I transfer a pension to Wealthify?

Yes, you can! And it’s relatively hassle-free – just let us know some details about your pension, including who your provider is, a reference number and estimated value – you can usually find these details on your latest pension statement.

It’s worth finding out if your existing provider charges exit fees, as these could limit the financial benefit of changing provider. We're unable to accept any pensions that you’re already taking an income from or transfer any pensions with defined benefits or guarantees.

If you’re an existing customer, simply head to your Dashboard and use the ‘transfer in’ button on your home screen.

When can I access the money in my pension?

You can access your pension when you turn 55 (rising to 57 in 2028), and are able to withdraw 25% of the total amount tax-free. However, you do not have to take the remainder of pension then. If you’re still working, for example, you can leave the money in your pension – and continue to contribute – until you retire.

How much tax relief could I get?

Wealthify automatically adds the 25% top up when you make a personal contribution to your pension and only if you ticked the box to state your eligibility for tax relief when you opened the SIPP. So, if you personally pay in £800, the government adds another £200, making the total £1000. However, if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer, you may be entitled to more, in which case you will need to contact HRMC to be able to access higher-rate tax relief. This will need to be submitted on your annual tax return.

How do I claim tax top ups?

When you open a SIPP with Wealthify, you must tick the box to say you are eligible for the tax top-up. We then automatically add the 25% top up to your pension when you make personal contributions. This means we do all the work for you and you don’t need to claim anything yourself. However, if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer, you’ll need to contact HMRC for tax relief at the higher rate.

What types of pensions can I transfer?

You can transfer in most types of pensions, although there are exceptions. For example, the government doesn’t allow the transfer of a public service pension. Similarly, if your pension has defined benefits – such as guaranteed annuity rates or a final salary promise – then we won’t be able to accept this, so please check before requesting a transfer.  We also cannot accept a transfer if you’re already taking an income from it.

How do I transfer a pension to Wealthify?

Transferring your old pensions is easier than you might think – all we need to know is who your old providers are, reference numbers , an estimated value, and your permission to get in touch with your old providers regarding your pensions. You can usually find this information on your latest pension statement. We’ll do the rest and consolidate them into your Wealthify Pension.

If you’re an existing customer, simply head to your Dashboard and use the ‘transfer in’ button on your home screen.

Can Wealthify find my pensions?

Wealthify doesn’t offer a pension finding service. We need to know who your pensions are with and a reference number in order to transfer your pension to us. We’re not able to find your pension if you aren’t sure who it is with.

If you need help finding your pension, please visit the Pension Tracing Service which is a free, government-run service.

Can I transfer a pension that I'm already accessing?

No, unfortunately, we’re not able to accept pensions that are already in payment or if you’ve already taken income from.

Can I change the investment style of my pension?

That’s definitely something you can do! We understand that appetite for risk changes, so if you want to change your investment style, just let our customer care team know.

Can I have a Wealthify Pension as well as an ISA or GIA?

Yes, you can. There are no limitations in place that would stop you from paying into your pension as well as other investment types, like our investment ISAs or General Investment Accounts (GIAs).

Do I need to contact my old pension provider before I transfer?

In the majority of cases, no. We can begin a pension transfer on your behalf without you needing to do anything. However, things happen, and if your old provider objects or needs further confirmation, then we’ll get in touch to let you know what’s needed.

We don’t charge you anything to transfer, but your old provider may charge exit fees or transfer fees, so you may want to check this with them before you go ahead.

Do I have to sign anything to transfer a pension?

This will depend on the type of pension transfer and who your previous providers were. In some cases, providers may require a physical signature, if so, we’ll send you a form to sign. However, most providers are happy with a digital signature, so there’s a chance that you may not need to physically sign anything.


Can I open a pension without transferring old pensions in?

Yes, of course! This process is even more simple than transferring in – head through to our sign up page to get started. If you have a pension with another provider it may be worth bringing them together, as you could save on fees and it may be easier to keep track of the performance of your retirement fund. 

How long does it take to transfer a pension?

This can differ from provider to provider, but the majority of pension transfers take 30 days. The exceptions are if there are issues locating your pension, or if we have to manually transfer your pension, then it could take up to 12 weeks. If we do find that we need more details from you to process a transfer, our team will get in touch to let you know what’s needed.


Why does my pension transfer mention Scottish Widows?

In 2022, Lloyds Banking Group acquired the Embark Group. As a result, the ‘Embark Platform’ was rebranded to become the ‘Scottish Widows Platform’. You may see Scottish Widows named during the pension transfer process, as this is how the underlying system recognises the platform. The Scottish Widows Platform will still be operated by Embark Investment Services Limited, as it’s a change of trading name and branding only — meaning there’s no change to the way your account is managed (and your terms and conditions have not been affected). 

How many pensions can I transfer?

As many as you want – whether that’s one or twenty – there’s no limit on how many pensions you can transfer into Wealthify.


How much tax will I pay on my pension?

You can take 25% of your pension pot tax-free - either as a lump sum or as a portion of each withdrawal - with the remaining 75% subject to income tax. Pension tax works in the same way as income tax, your custodian Embark will use the Pay As You Earn system to deduct tax and also issue a payslip which will be uploaded into your documents. 

Is there an exit fee?

No, Wealthify does not charge an exit fee on any of our products. However, there is a cost charged for divorce, where the pension is subject to a sharing order. A one-off charge of £120 covers all administration in dealing with the pension sharing order and liaising with third parties such as courts or solicitors.

Is there a charge to transfer my pension?

No, it is free to transfer your pension(s) into Wealthify. Your old provider may charge exit fees or transfer fees, so you may want to check this with them before you go ahead.

Can my employer pay into my Wealthify Pension?

Not at the moment, but it’s something we’re working on. Once we’ve got it up and running, we’ll let you know!

What is a SIPP?

Wealthify is offering a Self-Invested Personal Pension, or SIPP, which is a pension you personally set up and contribute to. It is separate to a workplace pension or the state government-funded pension. 

A personal pension is a great way to complement your workplace pensions by having more flexibility over how you contribute and invest.

That means, instead of being enlisted in whichever pension your workplace is offering, you have a greater choice of investments. Pick a level of risk that you’re comfortable with, choose whether you want ethical investments and decide how much you want to pay.

Plus, you’ll get a 25% tax-relief top up on each contribution up to a total contribution limit of £48,000 (which becomes £60,000 with the £12,000 tax relief) or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower. That means if you add £800 to your personal pension, tax relief will take this amount up to £1000, and best of all, you don’t have to do a thing. We’ll add this tax relief to your account automatically, so you don’t have to wait for HMRC – giving you 25% more to invest.

Can I take my entire pension pot as cash?

Yes, if you are eligible to withdraw from your pension, then this is an option, but you’d need to be certain that it’s the right choice for you as once it’s withdrawn you can’t change your mind.

The first 25% of your lump sum would be tax-free, but the other 75% would be taxed as income. If you have other income for that tax year, it could push you up into the next tax bracket, so you would be taxed more.

Taking your pension as a lump sum could also affect your entitlement to means-tested state benefits and you may get a lower benefit as a result. 

If you continue to pay into a pension after taking your full pension pot as a lump sum, you may incur additional tax charges if your contributions, together with any contributions from an employer or any tax relief you may receive, exceed £4,000.

Can I transfer my Wealthify GIA or ISA into my Pension?

We’re afraid not. Because ISAs and GIAs aren't pension products, they're subject to different tax treatment and cannot be transferred.

What is a pension drawdown?

Drawdown is when you gradually withdraw money from your pension to give you a regular income for your retirement.

You can normally take 25% of your pension out tax-free, and you have the flexibility to choose how much and how often you dip into your pension pot.  Each time you draw down from the remaining 75% you’ll pay tax on the full amount. This is known as flexi-access drawdown. Your money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) isn’t triggered when you take the initial 25% tax-free cash, it’s only triggered once you take your first withdrawal.

Alternatively, you can choose to take your tax-free cash out gradually. Each time you take money from your pension, 25% of the amount will be tax-free and you pay tax on the remaining 75%. In this case, your MPAA will be triggered from the first lump sum you take. This is known as UFPLS (uncrystallised funds pension lump sum).

You can take a different retirement option with any remaining money in your pension pot at any time you choose, either with Wealthify or another provider. Wealthify does not offer an annuity, so you would need to take this with another provider.

The government pensions website, Pensionwise,  has some useful resources to help you understand your options at retirement https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/en.

The option you choose will depend on your circumstances and what’s right for you. If you’re unsure about your options at retirement you should seek financial advice.

Is drawdown right for me?

If you want to keep your options open and avoid being locked into an annuity, where you are paid a regular monthly payment for the rest of your life, then drawdown could be for you. It also offers flexibility over the frequency and amount of income you take or actively manage in your invested pension savings.

You’ll need to have a healthy attitude to risk if you choose to drawdown your pension as your invested money can go up or down. If you want a risk free, guaranteed income for life that’s low maintenance, then drawdown may not be  for you.

If you are interested in drawdown, we recommend you seek financial advice.

How much income will drawdown give me?

How much you can drawdown from your pension depends on a number of factors: 

  • How much money you have in your pension
  • How often you withdraw from your pension and how much
  • How long you live
  • The investment performance of the chosen fund(s)
  • General charges associated with your pension plan

In principle, the more you take with each drawdown, the less you’ll have to drawdown at a later date.

Can I switch from drawdown to an annuity?

Wealthify does not offer an annuity, but if you have sufficient funds in your pension, you will be able to purchase an annuity plan from another provider. You can take 25% of your pension as tax-free cash and purchase an annuity with the remaining 75%

The government pensions website, Pensionwise,  has some useful resources to help you understand your options at retirement https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/en.

The option you choose will depend on your circumstances and what’s right for you. If you’re unsure about your options at retirement you should seek financial advice.

What happens to my pension when I die?

If you die before 75 anything remaining in your drawdown fund is passed on to your beneficiary as a tax-free lump sum, or they can continue to receive the income tax-free through drawdown. These payments must begin to be made within two years, or they become taxable at the beneficiary's highest rate. If you die aged 75 or above anything passed on or remaining in your drawdown fund will be taxed at the beneficiary's highest tax rate if taken as an income or lump sum.

Do you support carry forward?

We’re sorry but we’re unable to support carry forward at this time (Some providers allow you to “carry forward” any annual allowance which has not been used during the three previous tax years).

How many beneficiaries can I have?

You are able to list up to 8 Pension beneficiaries online with Wealthify, choosing a percentage amount to be allocated to each. 

Once your Pension has been set up, you can change your beneficiaries and allocations by logging in, viewing your plan and selecting 'change beneficiaries'.  

I’m self-employed, can I use a personal pension?

Yes, you can! A personal pension is great for sole-traders, freelancers, contractors, seasonal staff, directors in limited companies and more. Thanks to the flexibility of contributions, you can add to it when it suits you and change or pause your payments at any time using our app or online dashboard.

Did we mention that you could also benefit from an additional 25% top up thanks to tax relief? That means that every £800 you add is worth £1000. You can benefit from this up to £48,000 (which becomes £60,000 with £12,000 tax relief) or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower.

Take control of your future finances by starting a Self-Invested Personal Pension today.

How can I find out more about a Wealthify Pension?

Not all personal pensions are the same, so we’ve created this useful guide to give you information on:

  • What a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is
  • How the 25% tax relief top up works
  • How a SIPP differs from a workplace pension
  • Reasons for consolidating pensions

This guide doesn't offer personal advice, speak to a financial adviser if you're unsure about whether investing is right for you.

Download your Pension Guide 

What is a ‘pension annuity’?

A pension annuity is a pension product that gives you a taxable guaranteed income for life (or for a specified period). This is similar process to how you would receive a regular salary from your job. An annuity can currently be bought from the age of 55 onwards.

When you reach 55 (soon to be 57 from 2028), you will have the option to withdraw 25% of your pension as a lump-sum, and you won’t have to pay tax on this. With the remaining amount, you can then choose to keep it invested in your pension pot and take a regular income from it (this process is called ‘drawdown’) or buy a pension annuity instead. How much you get from your annuity (your ‘annuity rate’) can depend on a range of factors, such as your age, the size of your pension pot, and whether you have any medical conditions.

Who are Embark Investment Services Limited and what do they do?

Embark Investment Services Limited act as your custodian for our pension product, holding your cash and investments safely and ring-fenced from their own, under the Financial Conduct Authority’s client asset rules. They’re fully regulated by the FCA and are part of the Embark Group – the UK’s fastest-growing digital retirement platform.