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Can someone contribute to more than one pension simultaneously?

19 May 2022

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Question by Louise

Can someone contribute to more than one pension simultaneously - for example a work based pension and a second private pension fund?


Answered by Graham Wells

Great question, Louise.

There are no restrictions on the number of different pension schemes you may contribute to, so the short answer to your question is “yes".

Limits on pension contributions focus on the amount you pay in, rather than the number of different schemes you have. For example, the most you can contribute to all pension schemes in any one tax year, and still benefit from tax relief, is the lower of £40,000 or your annual earnings. This is known as the “Annual Allowance”.

Working out your Annual Allowance can get tricky if you have a defined benefit pension, if you’re a high earner or if you want to carry forward unused allowance from previous tax years. It’s best to seek individual advice in those situations.

It’s also good to make sure you’ve maximised any work based pension benefits before deciding on a second, private pension. Many employers will match additional contributions that you make, so it’s best to take advantage of that. And when comparing pensions, it’s important to be aware of the charges, investment funds and risk profiles available. You might also want to take account of ethical and environmental considerations when making investment choices.

So in summary, yes, it’s possible to contribute to more than one pension simultaneously. It could be a great way to boost your journey towards financial independence. But it’s worth doing some research to make sure a private pension is a better option than simply paying more into your work based pension.

Hope that helps, Louise.

All the best,

Graham