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Self Invested Personal Pension

Providing for your financial future

From tax relief on your payments in, to flexibility on taking your money out in later life, there may be compelling reasons to invest through a pension.

For people retiring today the full State Pension is £155.65 a week (2018/19 tax year). That is only likely to provide for your very basic needs and it might need to last you a long time.

If you want to enjoy your retirement to its fullest, and for as long as possible, pension savings to top up your State Pension make sense.

Pensions offer several tax advantages:

Access your savings from age 55 and take up to 25% of those tax-free

Growth is free of income and capital gains tax

Your loved ones can inherit your pension pot, free of Inheritance Tax

Tax relief on payments in (limits apply)

A SIPP requires active management and investment expertise. You cannot normally take any money out of it until age 55 and should make sure you review your investments regularly.

Remember the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount you invested. All investments carry an element of risk which may differ significantly. Tax rules may change in the future and taxation will depend on your personal circumstances. If you are unsure as to the suitability of a SIPP or any particular investment in it, you should speak to a Financial Adviser. Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. The information here is our understanding in May 2018.

Is it right for me?

  • Looking to invest from a range of investments including funds, investment trusts, ETFs and equities
  • Looking to hold your investments in a tax-efficient Account
  • Willing to view these as long term investments (you won’t be able to access them until at least age 55)
  • Comfortable with putting your capital at risk for the possibility of better returns
  • Comfortable that a stakeholder pension wouldn’t meet your needs just as well

Why save with Alliance Trust Savings?

Flat Account fees that won’t grow with your investments. Please see our Charges Guide for more information on account fees

24/7 online access to your Account

Over 4,000 investments to choose from

Real-time trading in UK listed securities

Regular, monthly investing for just £1.50 a trade (Terms and conditions apply)

Full flexibility when the time comes to access your retirement savings.

Find out more


Four easy steps to open a SIPP


Read the SIPP Key Facts and our Charges Guide


Decide how much you want to invest


Choose your investments


Login to apply, or speak to your Financial Adviser

How much could your SIPP be worth?

Use our retirement planning tool to work out how much you might be able to save for retirement.

Use our Retirement Planning tool
savings tool

FAQs and resources

What is a SIPP

A SIPP or Self Invested Personal Pension is a type of personal pension that lets you access a wide range of investments. A personal pension is a tax-efficient Account designed to help you invest for retirement.

Is a SIPP a stakeholder pension?

No. Stakeholder pensions have to meet government set standards covering payments, charges and other term and conditions. The charges for a SIPP may also be higher than for a stakeholder pension.

How do I know if a SIPP is right for me?

We cannot give you financial advice. You should understand the risks and commitments of a SIPP Account before you invest.

If you feel that you need advice to decide if a SIPP account is right for you and you don’t have a Financial Adviser, you can search for one near you here.

Opening a SIPP

Who can apply?

If you are 18 or over and:

  • have earnings that count for UK income tax; or
  • are resident in the UK at some point during the tax year; or
  • want to make a transfer from another registered pension scheme
You can apply for a SIPP Account with us.

Do you accept applications from the US?

We don’t accept applications by or on behalf of any US persons.

How do I open a SIPP Account?

The quickest, cheapest and easiest way to open a SIPP with us is online using our secure service. You can also apply by post by downloading our SIPP application form or through your Financial Adviser.


How do I choose where to invest?

We can’t give you advice, but our Investing Hub is packed with research tools, ideas and information to help you when you’re making investment decisions.

If the fund you want to buy is not available, please let us know as we regularly review the funds we offer and make changes based on customer demand.

Paying In

Who can pay into my SIPP?

Anyone can, including your employer, but you only get tax relief on your personal payments. These include payments you make from your own pocket or that anyone else, other than your employer or former employer, makes on your behalf.

And to qualify for the tax relief you have to:

  • have earnings that count for UK income tax; or
  • be (or treated as) resident in the UK at some point during the tax year being claimed for in any one of the previous five tax years.

What payment methods do you accept?

Debit card, direct debit (for regular payments) and cheque. We’ll send you a password and Personal ID to use on our secure online service, where you (or your adviser) can manage your account, including the payments you make.

How much can I pay in?

In theory, you can pay in as much as you like each tax year, but you can only get tax relief on payments up to the greater of:

  • All of your relevant UK earnings in the year (subject to your annual allowance); or
  • £3,600 regardless of any earnings
You will have to pay a tax charge on anything over your annual allowance, unless you can use up ('carry forward') any left-over annual allowance from up to the three previous tax years.

The rules in this area are complex. Different annual allowances apply in different circumstances for example, and there is also a lifetime allowance for pension savings that you need to be aware of. To find out more read our Guide to getting the most from your pension savings.

The minimum you can pay into your SIPP is £50 and you can keep making payments until you are 75.

Can I still pay in after I’ve started taking an income?

Yes, but only up to a maximum of £4,000 if you have relevant UK earnings in the year to cover that amount. Otherwise your maximum is £3,600 (including your tax relief, which at current rates would be £720).

You are not allowed to pay in any money that you’ve already taken out of a pension as a tax free lump sum.

Transferring In

Can I transfer other SIPPs to ATS?

Yes. You may be able to transfer from another registered pension scheme to your SIPP Account. We charge flat fees that don’t grow with your investments, making our charges very competitive for larger pension pots.

Your current registered pension scheme might charge you for transferring and you should work out the impact of any charges on your investment before going ahead.

You can’t transfer money to us from a private defined benefit scheme unless you have taken advice from a Financial Adviser with the right qualifications. The only exception is when the total transfer value of all your benefits in that scheme is less than £30,000.

Before initiating a transfer you should seek professional advice on the merits of the proposed transfer that is specific to your circumstances.

Your existing pension may have valuable benefits which you might lose when you transfer.


What are the charges?

We charge flat fees for our platform services. These are made up of monthly account fees to cover the basic ongoing cost to us of managing an account for you and charges for other services you may ask us to provide - buying and selling investments for example.

See our Charges Guide for more information.

Accessing your pension

What are my options when it comes to accessing my pension savings?

You can:

  • Take all of your savings in one go
  • Take smaller lump sums and/or
  • Take a regular income

You’re in control and there are no limits to how much you can access at any one time. But only a quarter of your savings can ever be paid tax free. The rest is taxed as income in the tax year (or years) it’s paid out.

Read our Accessing Your Pension Savings Guide to find out more.

You can also get free, impartial guidance on your options at Pensionwise.

Keeping Track

How often will I get valuation and statements?

Four times a year and you’ll be able to check the current value of your SIPP online at any time

Forms and Documents

To view all SIPP literature and forms, simply click on the button below:

SIPP literature
your retirement

Your Retirement

Alliance Trust Savings could be the ideal home for your retirement savings. 'Your Retirement' Magazine provides useful insights into the changing world of pensions.

Read the latest edition

Alliance Trust Savings Limited is a subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC and is registered in Scotland No. SC 98767, registered office, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 9YP; is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, firm reference number 116115. Alliance Trust Savings gives no financial or investment advice.