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Personal Pension questions and answers

Important note: The answers here are based on our understanding of pensions legislation. Tax depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.

Starting your pension

How do I pay into a Virgin Pension?

When you open your pension you can make a payment by bank account transfer or by debit card. If you want to change your contributions in future, or make an additional lump sum payment just give us a call.

Just remember, stopping or reducing your payments will reduce the amount you get back from your pension.

Can I save in other pensions too?

Yes, you can save in as many pensions as you like. If you already have a pension which you could pay into, you should discuss this with an independent financial adviser.

Visit to find a financial adviser in your area.

Can I transfer other pensions to Virgin Money?

You can transfer other pensions into a Virgin Pension, but you need to make sure it’s the right thing for you to do. We would strongly recommend you get independent financial advice first, to make sure you understand the costs, benefits and risks involved.

Please contact us for more information or visit to find a financial adviser in your area.

Are there any limits on how much I can pay in?

There is no limit to how much you can save in a pension. However if you save more than certain limits you may trigger a tax charge.

Each year, most people can contribute tax-free up to the lower of:

  • 100% of your salary
  • £40,000

The rules are different if:

  • You are over 55 and have already flexibly accessed your pension savings
  • You do not pay income tax
  • You earn over £200k
  • You already have pensions worth more than £1,073,100

For customers with earnings of more than £200,000, the annual allowance is calculated using a sliding scale, starting from £40,000 and reducing down to £4,000. The way that earnings are worked out is complicated. If you think this might apply to you, search Link opens in a new window/tab for ‘tapered annual allowance’ for more details.

If you think you may be affected by these exceptions please give us a call to discuss your options or visit the HMRC’s Tax On Your Private Pension Contributions information.

You can also find the latest tax information on or speak to a tax specialist or independent financial adviser.

What happens if I change my mind?

Some savings products give you the right to change your mind and cancel your plan within a certain period. You do not have this right to cancel stock market based investments like the Virgin Stakeholder Pension that are sold over the phone or online.

Changes to your circumstances

What happens if I change jobs?

Most companies automatically enrol new staff members into their pension scheme, so it's worth checking with your new employer. If they offer a company pension and they contribute to it, you should join so you don't miss out. You can still keep your Virgin Pension and continue paying into it if you wish.

If you become self-employed or your new employer doesn't offer a pension scheme, you can still keep paying into your Virgin Pension which helps your retirement savings stay on track.

What happens if I'm off work?

If you're off work, but are still being paid (e.g. paid maternity leave or sick leave), you can continue to pay into your pension as normal. If your employer is paying into your pension, you'll need to ask them if they'll continue to contribute while you're off work.

If you're not being paid, you can still make payments into your Virgin Pension however the tax benefits are reduced - you automatically get tax relief at 20% on only the first £2,880 you pay in each tax year.

What happens if I stop work altogether?

Even if you're not earning, you can still make payments into your Virgin Pension however the tax benefits are reduced - you automatically get tax relief at 20% on only the first £2,880 you pay in each tax year.

If you don't have any money to spare, you can stop paying into your pension at any time and start saving again whenever you're ready. Just remember, stopping or reducing your payments to your pension plan may reduce the amount you get back from your pension.

What happens if I die before I access my pension savings?

When you took out your Virgin Pension, you may have named one or more people who you want to receive your pension savings when you die (your 'beneficiaries'). If you need to name or change your beneficiaries, please call us.

Your beneficiaries will not pay income tax on the amounts they inherit (unless you are over 75 when you die). They can choose to receive a lump sum, or take an income from the pension savings.

Your retirement

Where can I find out more about my retirement options?

It's important to understand all the options available to you, to make sure the choices you make will give you the best possible retirement income.

Free and impartial guidance
If you're over 50 and have a pension based on how much you have paid into it (a 'defined contribution' pension), Pension Wise is a government service offering free and impartial guidance.

Pension Wise can help you:

  • Understand your pension options.
  • Find out what you can do with your pension pot when you retire.
  • Shop around for the best deal.
  • Know what to look out for with taxes and fees.

For guidance online, or to arrange a phone or face-to-face appointment, go to or call 0800 138 3944.

Financial advice
If you're looking for advice, you can search for an independent financial adviser at

How and when can I access my pension savings?

If you are 55 you can access your pension savings.

Take your pension savings as a lump sum

  • You can take your whole fund as cash in one go and get up to 25% of this tax-free.
  • Or you can make several withdrawals over time and receive 25% of each withdrawal tax-free.

Any withdrawals over the tax-free amount of 25% will be taxed at your marginal rate (your individual income tax rate, based on your total income for that tax year, including money from pensions).

Take a regular income
If you'd prefer a regular income, you can:

  • Take an income directly from your pension savings fund, which remains invested (known as ‘income drawdown’). Through income drawdown, you can take up to 25% of your pension savings immediately tax-free and the rest as taxable income at a later date.
  • Take out an annuity (where you swap your pension savings pot for a secure, taxable income, either for a fixed period or for life).

What options do Virgin Money offer?

At Virgin Money we offer you the option to take your whole fund as one lump sum, with 25% tax-free.

If you'd prefer to take a regular income from your pension savings when you retire (through income drawdown, withdrawing smaller lump sums or by arranging an annuity), you'll need to transfer your pension savings to another provider offering that option.

Like to talk to us?

Speak to one of our pension experts now.

03456 10 20 40

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