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Death benefits

What happens to your pension savings when you die depends on your age at the time of death.

You die before age 75
You die at or after age 75
Lump sum
Tax free if paid out within 2 years
Taxed at the beneficiaries’ marginal rate of income tax from 6th April 2016
Tax free if taken as income drawdown or an annuity if designated within 2 years
Taxed at the beneficiaries’ marginal rate of income tax

Important information

Please remember the value of your investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount you originally invested.

Before you choose a SIPP, make sure you understand its aims and risks. Alliance Trust does not give advice. If you are unsure whether our SIPP is suitable for you, of the risks and commitments of investments and or of how much income to take and when, you should seek professional financial advice specific to your particular circumstances.

Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. The information here is our understanding in June 2015. This information takes no account of your personal circumstances which may have an impact on tax treatment.

Related documents

Visit our dedicated SIPP literature page.

Who can be my beneficiaries?

Anyone. Just tell us who you would like to receive your death benefits using our Expression of Wish form.

Your beneficiaries could be one or more people. You could also ask us to pay some or all of your pension savings to a charity. It is entirely up to you.

With most pension schemes it is the Trustees who decide who they pay your death benefits to. But normally they will act on your wishes so it is important to keep these up to date.

I want to update my expression of wishes now.

download our form

What happens when my beneficiary dies?

Any pension savings they haven’t used yet will be passed on in turn to their beneficiaries.

The successor will have the option of taking as a lump sum or as income and the same tax rules will apply. So the tax they pay will depend on your beneficiary’s age when they die.

Learn more in our guide to accessing your pension savings.

download guide

Need advice?

If you want someone to look at your individual circumstances and positively recommend the best option for you, it’s financial advice that you need. Not guidance.

Find a financial adviser in your area:Unbiased

Free guidance

The ’Pension wise’ guidance service is a free impartial government service for anyone thinking of accessing their pension savings. It gives you details of your options and guidance to help you make up your mind what to do. We remind you about Pension wise before your planned retirement age.

Get free, impartial guidance on your options.

Pension wise

How much could your SIPP be worth?

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

savings tool

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.