If you do not have the option to save into a workplace pension, or you want to choose your own pension investments, a personal pension plan could help you build a retirement income.

They are a type of Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which lets you invest in pension plans managed by pension companies rather than managing each investment yourself.

If you are not sure how to pick and manage investments, then speak to an independent financial adviser to discuss your pension options.

Why choose a personal pension plan?

There are three main reasons to invest in a personal pension plan:

  1. You are not eligible for a workplace pension

  2. You are self employed

  3. You want to save into a separate pension fund to your workplace pension

Investing in a personal pension plan could see the value of your pension fund go up or down, so make sure you understand the risks before you invest.

Picking a pension company

Our comparison lets you find a personal pension company by:

  • How much they charge you in annual fees

  • The number of funds they let you choose from

  • How much they let you invest

There are many other charges that apply when managing your own pension, so compare costs from each companies' website before you invest.

Are they better than workplace pensions?

This depends on the funds you choose, but due to the risk of all investments your money could go down as well as up regardless of the type of pension you save into.

There are ways you could benefit by saving into a workplace pension rather than a personal pension plan, such as:

  • Employer contributions: your employer may also pay into your pension, which is like getting free money in your pension fund.

  • Small or no charges: your employer will likely get a deal for a larger group of pension funds, meaning you do not need to pay any fees for savings towards your retirement.

Personal pension plan FAQs

Q

Who is responsible for the performance of my personal pension?

A

You are, so if you are not sure how to manage it, speak to an independent financial adviser.

Q

Do I have to choose all of the funds in my SIPP?

A

Yes, but most pension companies offer SIPPs that are built from a range of funds categorised by their level of risk. Find out more here.

Q

When can I withdraw my personal pension plan?

A

Usually when you reach 55, but check with your pension company as their terms and conditions may set a different age.

Q

How much can I pay into my pension?

A

As much as you like, but only the first 40,000 you pay will be tax free. Anything above this is taxed at your level of income tax.

Q

When can I start withdrawing my pension?

A

Usually when you reach 55. You can contact your pension company and ask when your pension withdrawal age is at anytime.