We don’t support this browser anymore.
This means our website may not look and work as you would expect. Read more about browsers and how to update them here.

Pay your pension some attention

Pay your pension some attention

Your pension is there to help you make the most of your retirement. The better you know your pension, the more confident you'll be to approach retirement. However, only one in five savers are confident they are saving enough for retirement.

Our HL Know Your Pension checklist can help you with ways to be on top of your pension and see how much your pension might be on track to pay. Easy-to-use online tools and calculators can help you plan better for your retirement. For those looking to maximise their pension savings, our pension essentials and FAQs could help you get the information you need.

Important information: This page is to help you know more about pensions and is not personal advice. If you're not sure what's best for your situation, you should seek financial advice. Money in a pension is not usually accessible until age 55 (57 from 2028). Investments rise and fall in value, so you could get back less than you invest.

Know Your Pension checklist

  • Find out how big your pension pot is

    Check in with your pension and your provider at least once a year to see if you're on track for retirement. If your pension is a defined contribution scheme, your provider will normally send you a statement telling you about your pot once a year. If you have a final salary or career average pension and your provider doesn't give you a statement, you have the right to ask for one.

    Not sure where to find old pensions? You can use the government’s Pension Tracing Service to track them down.

    More on lost pensions and how to find them

  • Check on your current contributions

    It's good to check exactly how much is going into your pension and if it's on track for your retirement.

    When checking the size of your pension, also make a note of how much you're paying in and how much your employer pays. Find out what your company contributes and think about making the most of it.

    If you are approaching retirement, consider checking in on your State Pension to work out how much income you're going to need. For a comfortable living standard in retirement, it is important to save into a workplace or private pension alongside anything the state offers.

    Consider paying in more if you can afford it and you are within your pension allowances. Even a little bit extra can add up to a lot over time.

    Remember, money in a pension is not usually accessible until age 55 (rising to 58 in 2028).

    More on pension contributions

Pension calculator

Find out if you're on track to get the income you want in retirement.

Try the calculator

  • Review your investments

    Look at how your investments are performing and if they still match your risk appetite and how long you have to invest. You can ask your pension company for a fund factsheet, where you should be able to identify the performance of your investments.

    If you choose to invest in the HL SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension), you can choose from over 3000 funds, shares, investment trusts and more to build your own portfolio.

    Remember all investments can go down as well as up in value so you could get back less than you invest. If you're not sure if an investment is right for you, you should take financial advice.


    Discover our wealth shortlist

  • Nominate a beneficiary

    Your pension is a valuable asset, and the money does not disappear once you die. So, nominating a beneficiary or beneficiaries is incredibly important as it gives the pension provider/trustees an indication of where you'd like the money to go when you die. Whilst this nomination isn't legally binding, the pension provider/trustees must take it into account when considering to whom the money is given.

    What happens to my pension when I die?

  • Consider bringing your old pensions together

    It's important to know how many pensions you have, how they work (including your options at retirement) and what level of service you're getting in exchange for the fees you're paying. If you're less than satisfied, you might consider transferring to a new pension plan like the HL SIPP.

    Bringing old pensions together makes it easier to see exactly how your investments are performing, and if you're still on track to reach your retirement goals.

    Before transferring, check you won't lose any valuable benefits or have to pay high exit fees. Pensions are usually transferred as cash so you'll miss any market rises or falls for a period.



Join over 440,000 clients already using the HL SIPP

  • Invest where and how you want to
    You can pick your own investments, or pay a financial adviser to choose investments for you.

  • Peace of mind
    We're a financially secure FTSE-listed company, trusted by over 1.7 million clients. With over 40 years experience in empowering people to save and invest for a brighter future.

  • Support on hand when you need it
    Ongoing support from the experts on our Bristol-based helpdesk, get the answers to your questions no matter how big or small.

  • Great value for money
    Free research, the latest investment news, tools and insight from our team of experts.


SIPP basics

  • What’s the most I can add to a SIPP?

    If you’re UK resident under 75, you can usually add as much as you earn and receive tax relief each year. There is also an annual allowance (£60,000 for most people) which limits what you can pay in. Each contribution includes the money you put in, as well as what the government adds in tax relief.

    Learn more about paying into your pension

    Tax rules can change over time and the relief you receive depends on your circumstances.

Opening an HL SIPP

Transferring to an HL SIPP

  • What type of pension can I transfer?

    You can transfer most types of pension to the HL SIPP:

    • Personal and stakeholder pensions
    • Pensions in drawdown
    • Retirement Annuity Contracts (RACs)
    • Self-Invested Personal Pensions
    • Most Additional Voluntary Contribution plans (AVCs) including Free Standing AVCs
    • Executive Pension Plans (EPPs)
    • Most paid-up occupational money purchase pensions
    • Old protected-rights pensions accrued from contracting out of the State Second Pension or SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension)

    If you’re part of a defined-benefit (DB) pension, such as a ‘final salary’ scheme, transferring your pension to a personal plan is probably not in your best interest. These pensions not only give you a guaranteed income, they also normally offer benefits to a spouse or partner after you die. You might be able to transfer, but if the transfer value is more than £30,000, you’ll have to take advice from a regulated financial adviser and provide proof that the advice is in favour of transferring.

  • How long will the transfer take?

    If your pension is transferred as cash, this means your provider will sell your pension investments, and transfer the cash amount to your HL SIPP. You will not be invested during the transfer, so you will not make losses or gains. You can buy investments once the transfer is complete. Electronic transfers usually takes 3-4 weeks, and postal 8-10 weeks, depending on your provider.

    If your pension is transferred as it is (invested in the stock market), your provider will transfer each investment and any cash to your HL SIPP. If you hold an investment we do not offer, we’ll contact you during the transfer to confirm your preference. This type of transfer usually takes 6-8 weeks, but can take longer depending on your investments and provider. You stay invested during the transfer, so could make gains and losses. Usually you cannot trade until the transfer completes. Please note, we can only accept online applications of this kind for existing Self-Invested Personal Pensions or Small Self-Administered Schemes. If you hold a different pension, and are eligible to transfer your investments, please contact our helpdesk on 0117 980 9926 for a postal application.

  • What are the charges for transferring to you?

    We don’t charge you to transfer your pension, but you should check with your current provider if they’ll charge you any exit fees, or if you’ll lose any guarantees by transferring. Make sure you do this before you start your transfer.

    View our SIPP charges

  • Can I transfer to you and then take money out of my pension immediately?

    Yes, but normally only if you’re 55 or over. You’ll need to transfer your pension first. Then, once your transfer is complete, you can apply to take money from the HL SIPP.

Guidance, help and advice

Guidance from Money Helper

If you want to make your money and pension choices clearer, get government-backed, impartial guidance from Money Helper.

More about Money Helper

Have a question?

Our UK-based helpdesk are here for you six days a week. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are ready to answer your questions no matter how big or small.

Call us on 0117 980 9926.

Opening hours
Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 12.30pm

Financial Advice from HL

Our financial advisers can work with you to:

  • Plan your personal budget and retirement income strategy
  • Make sure your investments match your goals
  • Give pension advice, including when and how to take them

Discover financial advice

Financial Advice from HL

Our financial advisers can work with you to:

  • Plan your personal budget and retirement income strategy
  • Make sure your investments match your goals
  • Give pension advice, including when and how to take them

Discover financial advice