Find all the answers you need here, fast.
How do I change my contact or address details?
Simply log in to your online account and go to the ‘Update my details’ area, where your current contact details will be displayed and can be updated.
Can I have an ISA and a savings account?
There's absolutely no reason why you can't have both a savings account and an ISA at the same time, so you need to work out which is more beneficial to you. This will depend on your personal circumstances.
If you want to buy a home then getting a Help to Buy ISA will pay you a bonus from the Government in addition to any interest, but you can only use it toward purchase of a home. The Lifetime ISA for the under 40s also pays a bonus, so if you are eligible for one it is worth considering.
Both ISAs and the Personal Savings Allowance offer you tax benefits from saving, but you have to consider the pros and cons and see which will best fit your situation – especially if you can save less than the ISA allowance.
If you will potentially exceed either or both your annual ISA allowance or Personal Savings allowance it makes sense to use both to maximise the amount of interest you can earn tax free.
Are ISAs a good investment?
Stocks and shares ISAs can be a good investment for many reasons. If time is on your side, investing can be a great way to help you achieve your long-term financial goals as you can ride out any market fluctuations. However, investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invest.
Then there are the tax breaks. You’ll benefit from tax-free income, capital gains and dividends.
Many people are understandably anxious about investing because they think it’s too complex. But if you’re new to it, there are some easy ways to get started, such as ready-made funds run by experts.
Stocks and shares ISAs are only a good investment if you manage risk sensibly. The greater the risk, the greater profit you’re likely to make but the more you’re also likely to lose. And remember to factor in additional costs when planning your investments, such as admin charges and fund management fees.
The golden rule of investing is to spread the risk. Be sure to balance your portfolio with a mix of equities, bonds and cash spread across different industrial sectors and geographical areas.
How do I add or change a beneficiary?
Please log in to your online account and send us a secure message with details of who you want to add or change from and to.
We’ll need your new beneficiaries’ title and full name, date of birth, relationship to you and permanent residential address.
How do I change my user ID?
Simply log in to your online account, go to the ‘Update my details’ area and follow the instructions. For your security and ease, we recommend your new ID includes a combination of letters and numbers, and has no more than 15 characters.
Is a personal pension right for you?
A pension is a good way of building up a pot of money to live on in retirement, when you may no longer work. If you can wait until you’re 55 to access your savings and you’re comfortable making your own decisions, a personal pension might work for you.
Your money has time to grow and you can continue to contribute until you’re ready to make a decision about how to use your savings. You could also get 20% tax relief on top of the contributions you make and you may be able to claim more from HMRC. Please see our question ‘how much can I save into a personal pension’ for further information.
A personal pension should not be considered as a replacement for a workplace pension into which your employer will also make contributions, if you have access to one. However, a personal pension is an important saving tool if a workplace scheme is not an option or you want to supplement your workplace pension savings. For example, if you have maxed out your workplace pension and your employer is no longer matching your contributions, or if you want to consider alternative investment options, a personal pension could help you meet your goals. If you want the option to withdraw your money before you’re 55, an ISA may be a better option.
With all pension schemes, your money is invested. In a personal pension, it’s up to you to decide what funds your pension holds. There are risks associated with investing – the value of your investment(s) could fall as well as rise, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with this possibility.
What income will I need in retirement?
Our retirement planning tool can help you determine how much to pay into your pension to meet your saving goals, but don’t forget your other savings and investments too.
The size of your final pension pot will depend on how much you pay in and for how long, together with how your chosen investment funds perform and the charges you pay. In general, the sooner you start and the more you pay in, the more savings you could have in retirement.
If you’re still not sure how much you’ll need, we recommend seeking financial advice. You can find an adviser by visiting unbiased.co.uk. Advisers usually charge for their services.
Will the state pension be enough for me in retirement?
You’re entitled to a basic state pension if you’ve paid National Insurance contributions during your working life. The size of your state pension depends on how many contributions you’ve made. The maximum entitlement is currently based on contributions of 35 years or more. Relying on the state pension alone (which now pays £168.60 per week) may not allow you to sustain your lifestyle in retirement, so it might be worth exploring additional savings options, such as a personal pension, that you can combine with your state pension.
For more information, please visit GOV.UK.
How do I open a personal pension?
To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and a UK resident.
You can apply for our pension by choosing the level of investment risk you’re comfortable taking, choosing your funds, providing your details and entering the amount you want to invest.
If your application is successful, your money will be invested within one working day. The money will stay invested and your pension will remain open until you decide to close it.
If you’re not sure if a personal pension is right for you, we have other saving options here.
How much can I save into a personal pension?
You can pay in up to 100% (up to £40,000) of your annual salary each year and you can receive tax relief of 20% on top.You may also be able to claim more tax relief directly from HMRC if you’re a higher rate tax payer but do not earn over £145,000. The amount will depend on where you live (if you are in Scotland different tax rates apply) and your income tax bracket. If you earn more than £110,000 in a tax year (and £150,000 when pension contributions are added), your annual allowance may be less than £40,000 and as little as £10,000.
If you don’t use up your full annual allowance in a tax year, you can roll the remaining balance over for up to three years.
You should also be aware of the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) – if you have a pension scheme, the annual allowance (the amount you can contribute each year) can reduce once you’ve accessed your pension pot and taken your 25% tax-free cash. Furthermore, you will no longer have the option to roll over any unused allowance to later tax years. However, if the first withdrawal is just the 25% tax-free cash lump sum and you do not take any further income, the MPAA will not be triggered and you can continue to contribute (depending on your circumstances) up to £40,000 each tax year and receive tax-relief. MPAA reduces this figure to £4000 per annum but is only invoked when the 75% of the pension pot, subject to PAYE, is touched.
You should also consider the Lifetime Allowance – this is the total amount that can be built up across all pension schemes you belong to without incurring extra tax charges. The Lifetime Allowance is currently £1,055,000 at the time of writing.
For more information on your savings limits and the tax implications, please read our pension tax benefits page.