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Understanding the basics


Pensions were created to help us save for retirement. But most traditional pensions don’t give you the flexibility to invest where you want to. And it’s not always easy to see or understand what’s happening with your money.


self-invested personal pension, or SIPP, is a type of pension that opens the doors, so you can choose your own investments from a large selection.

Easy to manage

SIPPs also make it easy for you to manage your pension. You can see how it’s doing online at any time, making changes whenever you like. That way you can breathe life into your pension and ultimately determine how you enjoy your retirement.

Investment Choice

The wide investment choice in SIPPs can make a significant difference to your pension.

Personal Pension or SIPP?

Traditional personal pensions tend to offer between a dozen and several hundred funds. But their charges can be hefty, particularly on older plans. Stakeholder pensions have lower charges, but tend to offer a more limited choice of funds.

The wide investment choice in SIPPs can make a significant difference to your pension. That’s because how your investments perform can have a large impact on the size of your pension pot and eventually your retirement.

Investment options Personal Pension SIPP
Collective investment funds
Unit trusts No Yes
Investment trusts No Yes
Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) No Yes
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) No Yes
Insurance company funds Yes No
Stocks and shares
UK shares No Yes
Overseas shares No Yes
UK government bonds No Yes
Bonds and other fixed-interest securities No Yes
Permanent Interest-Bearing Shares (PIBS) No Yes
Other options
Cash Yes Yes

Taking money from your SIPP

When you reach your 55th birthday (or your 57th from 2028), you’re free to start withdrawing money from your SIPP, even if you’re still working. You can usually take up to 25% of your pot tax free. The rest of your withdrawals will be taxed as income.

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