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Paying tax on your pension

You can take 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum.

Tax-free cash

You can choose to take a tax-free amount of 25% as one lump sum or as part of a series of lump sums. The remaining money in your pension pot will be taxed as income.

So, you’ll be taxed on your pension if all your income adds up to more than your personal allowance. Your personal allowance is the amount of income you can receive each tax year before you start paying income tax.

For the 2016/17 tax year it is £11,000.

Here's how it works

From a cash sum of £30,000:

  • You get £7,500 tax-free
  • £22,500 will be taxed at 20%
  • You pay tax of £4,500

Total cash sum you receive after tax £25,500.

How your pension is taxed if you die

If you die before you reach 75 and some or all of your pension remains invested, your beneficiaries can receive this money tax-free.

If you die after you reach 75, your beneficiaries can take money from your pension pot as a series of payments which are taxed at their income tax rate. Or they can take the money as one lump sum, which, until April 2016, is taxed at 45%. From April 2016, it will be taxed at their income tax rate.

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