Applying for and opening an account
We try to make everything easy to understand, with helpful guides and handy tips to help you choose the right account for you. If anything needs a bit more explanation, get in touch on 03455 28 88 52 and we'll do our best to help. Remember, we’re not allowed to give you financial advice. If that's what you need, check out:
No. To open an account with us, you must be a UK taxpayer or have a British Forces Overseas address. If you become non-resident for tax after you’ve opened your account, please let us know straightaway because you might be unable to make any more payments into it. Other providers might offer you an account if you’re a non-UK resident.
We try to make things quick and easy – most applications are sorted in just a few minutes.
It will help if you've got these things handy before you start.
- Your mobile phone, if you have one, or be near your landline
- Your National Insurance number.
- Your debit card – if you want to make a one-off payment.
- Your bank account details – if you want to make monthly payments.
- Details of your existing account(s) – if you want to make a transfer payment.
We usually verify your identity electronically wherever possible, using the information you gave us in your application. Sometimes we might ask you to send extra proof of your identity or your address to process your application.
Yes. This is a digital account, which means you’ll need to open and manage your account online. If you need help opening or managing your account, just get in touch on 03455 28 88 52.
You’re free to cancel your Pension with us within 30 days of opening it. Just send us a secure message, call, or write to Virgin Money Investments and Pensions, PO Box 24204, Edinburgh EH3 1JP and we’ll sort it.
If you do cancel your Pension, we’ll sell all your units and convert them to cash. We’ll even pay back any Account Charges we may have collected. You’ll get back whatever your savings are worth, which could be more or less than you put in. Otherwise, it’ll be as if you never opened the account.
Where you transferred a pension to us from another provider, we’ll check whether we can return the cash to them. If they refuse to accept it, you’ll need to find another provider that will.
You can also cancel a transfer from another provider within 30 days of instructing it. Your cancellation rights only apply to the transfer and not to the other savings in your Pension. We'll return whatever the transferred amount is worth, which could be more or less than we received.
You can make payments into your pension by:
- Debit card – if you're making a one-off payment.
- Direct debit – if you're making monthly payments.
- Transferring an existing pension to us.
- You can start, stop or change your payments whenever you like, as long as you keep within the pension rules.
Yes, our Navigator pension is the hands-off way to manage your pension. We adjust your pension automatically based on your age, focusing on growth when you’re young and stability as you get older.
Follow the links from our funds page for detailed information about each investment approach and its performance.
Use our app or sign into Online Service to track the performance of your investments. We update your account balance every day and you’ll get a statement every six months.
The simple answer is yes. The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invested. That's why you should invest for the longer term (5 years or more), so you're less exposed to sudden changes in market conditions.
To help manage the risk, our investment approaches spread your money across many different types of investment, and many different countries.
A fund of funds is an investment fund that invests into other funds, rather than directly into individual shares or bonds. It’s a way to lower the risk, spread your investments and give your money more ways to grow.
Transferring to us
That depends on the type of investments you have and who your provider is. Sometimes it can take a few weeks, but we'll make it as quick and easy as we can. Here's how it works:
You give us details of the account(s) you want to transfer – including your current provider, your plan or policy reference and the amount you want to transfer.
We'll contact your existing provider and usually get everything sorted online. Some providers won’t accept a digital signature, so we might get in touch again to ask you to sign and return a transfer form by post.
You'll be able to track the progress of your transfer in Online Service and we'll let you know when everything's complete.
You can transfer as many pensions as you like to us. Just give us the details when you apply, or transfer them one at a time once you've opened your account.
There are a few pensions you can't transfer:
- a pension with a guaranteed annuity rate.
- a pension with safeguarded benefits or guarantees.
- a pension you've already taken money from.
- a defined benefit pension (e.g. a final salary scheme).
If you've got a pension but can't remember all the details, the first thing to do is contact your pension provider- if you know who it is. Your previous employer could help if it was a pension they helped arrange. Follow our top tips to find your pension.
App and security
We protect you with a security check each time you sign in. If you've downloaded our Investments and Pension app, we'll send a notification to your device. Otherwise we’ll send you a security code to your phone.
Remember, keeping your account safe is really important. Make sure you keep your security password for Online Service safe and never share it
Our app helps keeps you safe when managing your investments online. It also keeps you up-to-date with how your investments and pensions are doing. It's the quick and easy way to check your balance, make a one-off payment, get in touch via secure messages, view and upload documents, and more.
Our app is the handy way to keep in control of your account, wherever you are. It’s also the quickest and easiest way to sign in to Online Service securely.
If you don’t have a smartphone you can still sign in to Online Service to manage your account. You’ll just need to give us your phone number so we can send you a security code for verification each time you sign in.
Yes, you'll need to download the Virgin Money Investments and Pensions app too. It's separate from our mobile banking and credit card apps.
You can view your account balance and make a one-off payment in our app. Just click the Accounts tab at the bottom of the screen.
For other payment options, or to make withdrawals, just sign in to Online Service and View your account.
If you are using our Virgin Money Investments and Pension app, go to our Online Service and enter your username and password then select I've recently changed my device which is shown under the Trouble signing in section. Then follow the on-screen instructions. Once your old device has been removed you can download our App and register your new mobile device.
If your new device uses your old number, you'll be able to sign in as normal.
If you have a new number, or you don't have access to a new device, give us a call – we’ll get you up and running quickly.
Don’t worry, your account will still be safe and secure – and we can usually get you back up and running quickly.
You can only link one device to your account so, first you'll need to remove your old device. Just go to Trouble signing in in Online Service, select I've recently changed my device then follow the on-screen instructions.
If you usually sign in to your Online Service by text or voice message, and you're still using your old number on your new device, you'll be able to sign in as usual.
If you have a new mobile phone number and haven't updated it in Online Service, you'll need to call us on the contact number below.
Give us a call, our contact details are shown at the bottom of the page. We’ll get you up and running again.
For your security, we'll lock your account if there have been too many failed attempts to sign in. It will unlock automatically after 30 minutes. During that 30-minute lock, you can still retrieve your username or reset your password.
If your sign-in credentials continue to be entered incorrectly after the 30-minute lock, you'll need to contact us on the telephone number below, to unlock your account.
Call us as soon as you can on 0345 528 88 88.
Manage your account
As part of the account opening process we will set up your access to Online Service. This is where you manage your account, review performance and more.
To keep things extra secure, each time you sign in to Online Service we'll ask you to verify it's you. We'll do this by sending a notification to your device if you've downloaded our Investments and Pension app or via a text to your phone number.
You can choose any day from 1st–28th of each month for your Direct Debit payments. Just remember, it takes about 10 days to set up and collect the first one.
You can access all your important documents from your Documents in our Online Service.
You can also view those documents in our Virgin Money Investments and Pension app.
There’s no limit to how much you and your employer (if you have one) can pay into your pension. There is, however, a limit to how much of those payments can benefit from tax relief.
Most employed people can get tax relief on pension payments up to either 100% of their salary or a gross annual allowance of £60,000 which includes payments and tax relief – whichever is lower. This amount can be higher if you have unused allowance from past tax years. You may have a lower limit if you earn a lot or have already accessed your pension benefits. Even if you don’t pay income tax, you’ll still get tax relief on the first £2,880 you pay in each year.
For more info see gov.uk
Transferring your pension to us is simple. Access your account overview in Online Service and select Transfer a pension to us then follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll be asked for your provider’s details, your plan / policy reference and the amount you’d like to transfer. We'll ask you to sign your form with a digital signature. In some cases, your current provider won’t accept a digital signature to allow the transfer to continue. If that happens, we’ll get back in touch with you to sign and return a transfer form by post.
If you have a Self-Drive pension you'll also need to tell us what funds you want to invest in.
Sometimes, you may be better off leaving your pension where it is. Before transferring yours, make sure it’s the right thing to do.
Ask your pension provider if you’ll be charged for transferring your savings to us. If there’s a fee, the cost could outweigh the potential gains.
Make sure our pension gives you the investment options and features you need, and our charges compare with those of your existing provider.
Check you’re not giving up valuable benefits if you transfer your pension, such as guaranteed sickness or death pay-outs.
There are some types of pensions we can’t transfer. This includes pensions with:
- A guaranteed annuity rate
This is a pension plan that guarantees you income from an annuity, for life. It’s based on a fixed rate, set when you started your pension. Rates for guaranteed annuities often have escalation terms, which mean your income will increase. These can be more generous than other annuities.
- Safeguarded benefits or guarantees
This type of pension plan pays you a bonus for not taking your benefits, until an agreed date. These plans often pay out an annual and final bonus, based on profits from where your money’s invested. You risk losing these bonuses if the policy’s transferred or cashed-in early.
- Payments already taken from them
This means, if you have taken money out of your pension using Pension Drawdown with your current provider, you won’t be able to transfer those benefits to us.
- Defined benefits (public or private sector)
This type of pension is usually offered by employers – it’s also known as a Final Salary Pension. It guarantees you a level of retirement income, linked to your age and earnings – which is sometimes called a Scheme Pension. Watch out: that income won’t be paid if the policy’s transferred.
If you die before accessing your money, we’ll use any named beneficiaries you've provided to help us decide who we should pay.
Payments to beneficiaries are usually tax-free if you’re under 75, and the money’s paid within two years. If you’re 75 or older, however, your beneficiaries may have to pay income tax on the amount they receive.
If you haven't added any beneficiaries, or haven't allocated 100% of your pension, any money that’s left over will normally become part of your estate.
When you close your account, you're withdrawing from all the funds you're invested in. That process can take up to five working days. During this time, you might still see some money in your account but because your account is closing no new transactions will be possible.
Online Service will show that we’re closing the account for you. The account status will be closed once this is finished.
Yes, so long as it's within 30 days of of instructing any transfer. We’ll check whether we can return the cash to other provider. If they refuse to accept it, you’ll need to find another provider that will.
We'll return whatever the transferred amount is worth, which could be more or less than we received.
You need to notify us immediately if you move abroad. Laws outside of the UK may affect your ability to continue to make payments or benefit fully from the features of your Virgin Money Investment and Pension products . We’ll give you details once you’ve told us.
Unfortunately not, unless it's a BFPO address. Please get in touch, either by phone or using the secure messaging feature in Online Service.
Add and withdraw money
Yes, other people, including your employer, can also pay into your pension. To arrange for another person or employer to make a payment you’ll need to call us.
We’ll provide the person or employer with a payment form to complete. After we have received the completed form and verified their identity, we will be able to accept a payment from them.
If they want to change a monthly Direct Debit they have in place, they can get back in touch with us and we will ask them to complete a new form.
We will write directly to the payer in the event of any problems with their payments. However, you'll be able to keep track of all payments in Online Service by viewing 'account activity' and your regular pension statements.
Bear in mind that you can't benefit from income tax relief on pension payments that come directly from your employer. Also, please note that your employer making payments into the Virgin Money Pension can't use this as an approved Auto-Enrolment (workplace) pension scheme to make payments.
Once we have everything we need, it takes eight working days to set up your Direct Debit. If it’s too late for your chosen date, we’ll collect your first payment the following month.
Payments into your Virgin Money Investments and Pension accounts will up show as "Virgin Money Inves" on your bank statements.
Go to your homepage in Online Service and select View your account and then Manage monthly payments. From here, you can cancel your monthly payment by following the on-screen instructions.
Please note that if you cancel your Direct Debit within three working days of the collection date, the cancellation will happen after your next payment's collected.
Currently, the minimum age for taking your pension is 55 (57 from 2028). There are some circumstances when you can do this sooner, such as for serious ill health. For more info, have a look at our latest Pension Terms. You will also find a copy of your Pension Terms within Documents in our Online Service.
Currently, with us, you only have the option to take your pension savings as one lump sum, with 25% of it tax free. We're working on options for you to drawdown income, or to take smaller lump sums from your pension.
If your pension's with us and you want to access it via drawdown, or another method we don't yet provide, you’ll need to transfer your money to another pension provider – we won't charge you for doing that.
Charges and tax
There are two charges, both of which are a percentage of the value of the investments you hold. They are:
1. Account Charge. This is for running your account. We calculate the cost once a month then sell some of your units to cover the charge. If you have any cash in your account, we’ll use that to pay the charge and only sell units if there isn’t enough cash to cover the full amount.
2. Annual Management Charge (AMC). This covers the cost of managing your investments, and varies from fund to fund. Unlike the Account Charge, you won’t see this charge come out of your account each month. Instead, it’s reflected in the daily unit price of each fund.
For more info, see Our funds and charges.
We won't charge you any fees for moving to another provider.
A pension is a tax-efficient way to save for your retirement.
You can benefit from tax relief on your personal payments into your pension, up to your allowed limit.
Pension investments are free from income tax and capital gains tax, so you won't pay tax on any dividends from shares and you won’t pay capital gains tax on any profits made from the investments within your pension.
When it’s time to take money from your pension, you get the first 25% as a tax-free lump sum, but the rest is taxed like any other income.
For more info, have a look at gov.uk.
You get tax relief on all payments made into your pension, including those from third parties, but not payments made by your employer. This means you only pay tax when money goes out – not when it comes in.
When it’s time to take money from your pension, you can normally get the first 25% as a tax-free lump sum, but the rest is taxed like any other income.
As you approach your retirement age we’ll give you all the details you need, but you can always visit MoneyHelper.org.uk for more info.
For pensions, it can take up to 12 weeks to get HMRC's tax relief. As soon as we get the money, we’ll use it to buy more units in your chosen funds.
We update the value of your funds overnight after each working day (Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays). You can view your balance within our app and in Online Service. To help, we confirm the date your balance was last updated next to its current value.
It's the level of risk an investor is prepared to accept when investing. It differs based on the intended use of the investment funds, and when the money's needed. For example, investors tend to have a very low investment risk appetite for an investment needed in two years' time. Investors looking to grow their wealth over the longer term (10 years or more) for future quality of life reasons, such as paying regularly into a pension, tend to have a higher investment risk appetite – because there's more time for short-term dips to eventually grow back to higher value.
Possibly. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.
If you choose to sell when your investments go down, you will be locking in stock market falls.
Remember, investing is a medium to long-term commitment and has tended to do better than saving over five years or more. However, past performance of investments can't be used as a guide to how they'll perform in the future.
There’s always a risk with investing. The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.
That’s why investments are a medium to long-term commitment and why you should be prepared to invest your money for at least five years – it's generally the best way of smoothing out the short term ups and downs you can get with the stock market.
Glossary and other questions
You can see the latest terms for your account in your Documents, in Online Service. You can also view our Pension Terms.
No, we don't currently pay interest on any cash held in our Investments and Pensions accounts.
Virgin Money is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In the unlikely event we can’t meet our financial obligations, you may be entitled to compensation from the FSCS up to a maximum value of £85,000.
For details about what's covered, have a look at the FSCS website at FSCS.org.uk or call 0800 678 1100.
A fund is a collection of different investors’ money that's all invested in a variety of different assets, which are detailed on the fund’s factsheet.
A fund provides more diversification than investing in shares of a single company. It's a way of spreading the risk and giving your money more chances to grow.
Check out our funds to see which one's right for you.
An approach is another name we use for our funds. It makes them easier to understand and helps you choose which one's right for you.
Check out our funds to see which one's right for you.
It’s like an IOU, used by companies and governments to raise money. The buyer lends money to the seller in return for regular interest with the money returned at the end of the term of the bond (maturity date). The value of a bond can rise and fall based on the attractiveness of the income and the creditworthiness of the lender.
It’s a type of bond. Instead of lending money to a company, it’s lent to the UK government.
It’s a pool of money gathered by a company from investors. It’s used to buy, manage or invest in property and land to generate income. While the value rises and falls with the stock market, over the medium to long-term it provides the benefits of owning real estate without needing millions to invest.
A fund of funds is an investment fund that invests in other funds, rather than directly in stocks, shares, bonds, etc. It’s a good way to lower the risk through diversification, and give your money more ways to grow.
Each fund in the product you hold with us is divided into units. When you pay money in, we buy units for you. When you take money out, or when paying account charges, we sell units for you. These are known as trades. We ask the fund manager to place trades for you. The fund manager sets the fund price on each business day. The price of units will change over time, because it depends on the value of all the assets in the fund.
Dividend distributions are income from our funds which are mainly invested in stocks and shares, either paid to you or reinvested into your fund. You will be able to see your dividend received value in your Tax Certificate, if you hold an Investment Account with us.
Sorry to hear that. We'll try to help if we can, just get in touch.
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To find out more about Text Relay, visit the Relay UK Website.
Using your voice instead of a keyboard and mouse
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Have a look in your settings for voice recognition, speech recognition or dictation options. For more advanced voice recognition software, you might want to try Dragon Naturally Speaking.
Let us know what you need, so we can offer you the right support. We can also share details of appropriate organisations who may be able to help.
If you need help managing your Virgin Money Investment Accounts, you might want to consider appointing someone to do that via a Power of Attorney. Have a look at the related questions and answers below, or get in touch with us.
Yes, if a Power of Attorney has been put in place to manage your affairs, they'll need to contact us. We'll explain to them what paperwork we need before they're allowed to manage your Virgin Money Investment and Pensions Accounts.
We always try to provide the highest standard of service, but sometimes things go wrong. When they do, we work hard to put them right as quickly as possible.
If you’re unhappy with something, please get in contact with us.