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 at www.unbiased.co.uk.
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.
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.
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.
If you are a direct investor, see our Self-Directed Investor charges section for more information.
If you invest through an adviser, see our Advised client charges section for more information.
What are my options when it comes to accessing my pension savings?
- 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.
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