Take control of your retirement with a Self Invested Personal Pension

SIPPs are a tax-efficient way to save for your retirement - transfer in existing pensions or start contributing today from as little as £100 per month or a £500 lump sum.

Open and/or transfer pensions into our low-cost SIPP account and benefit from tax relief on your personal contributions and tax free investing.

SIPPs - What you need to know:

  •  Any UK resident under the age of 75 may contribute and receive tax relief 
  •  The Government will top up your contribution with 20% basic rate tax relief* 
  •  Higher-rate and additional-rate tax payers may claim up to a further 20% and 25% respectively back through their tax return*
  •  You cannot claim more tax relief than your earned income
  •  Annual contribution allowance of up to £40,000 (dependent on earnings for the tax year and whether you have drawn any taxable retirement benefits)  
  •  You may normally take retirement benefits from age 55
  •  You have control over your investments and contribution methods
  •  Flexibility to select the best ways to take your benefits at retirement
  •  If you need access to your cash sooner than 55, then consider a Stocks & Shares ISA

If you want to take advantage of a SIPPs flexibility but are unsure about investing, don't worry we have a Foundation Fundlist and Foundation Portfolios to help get you started.

*From the 2020/21 tax year rates of tax and pension tax relief for Scottish taxpayers differ from the rest of the UK. For more information please refer to our guide.

Why open a SIPP?

A SIPP is a type of personal pension that offers the same tax benefits as other registered pension schemes. Although many other types of pensions limit your investment choice, the Charles Stanley Direct SIPP gives you control of where you invest offering access to over 3000 Funds, as well as UK and Overseas Shares, Gilts, Bonds, ETFs and Investment Trusts - you choose how, where and when to invest your money.


Tax Benefits

Pension Tax Relief

How pension tax relief works

Currently, an investor can receive up to 45% tax relief when they make a personal contribution to a personal pension such as a SIPP, with 20% paid by the HMRC to the pension and any higher and additional rate tax relief reclaimable via your tax return.

For example, an investor contributes £8,000 into their SIPP and £2,000 is claimed back from HMRC by the pension provider. A higher rate tax payer could claim back up to a further 20%, reducing the overall cost of the contribution to as little as £6,000. In the same instance, additional rate tax payers could claim back up to a further 25% making the cost as little as £5,500 for a £10,000 contribution.

It is also possible for non-tax payers to benefit.  UK relevant individuals under age 75 can contribute £2,880 to a pension and receive tax relief of £720, resulting in a total contribution of £3,600. In addition to upfront tax relief, money in a pension is free from capital gains tax and income tax on the investments.  The tax treatment of pensions depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change in future.

Please note you must pay sufficient tax at the higher and additional rates to claim the full higher-rate tax relief via your tax return. 

Further tax benefits

Unlimited withdrawals from age 55, and up to 25% tax free lump sum.

From age 55 onwards (57 from 2028), you have the option of making withdrawals.  Typically you may take 25% of the pension tax free and the rest is taxed as income.  Our SIPP gives you the flexibility to make withdrawals as you wish -  the whole fund may be taken as a lump sum, smaller lump sums or a regular income.  Please note a pension may need to last throughout your retirement.

Pass on the remainder of your pension tax free to your heirs.

Any residual monies left in your pension when you die can typically be passed to your heirs free of an inheritance tax charge. Any withdrawals your heirs then make will usually be tax free if you died before you were aged 75. If you die when aged 75 or older any withdrawals will be taxed as income at their marginal rate.


The tax treatment of pensions depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change in future. 


The details surrounding pension rules are very complex. If they affect you, careful planning combined with expert knowledge could be required to structure your affairs as tax efficiently as possible.

If you are in any doubt, we recommend taking financial advice.If you would like advice on pensions and retirement planning please contact our Financial Planners.

Platform Charge 0.35%

Our maximum platform charge for holding investments is 0.35%. For fund holdings (OEICs and Unit Trusts) the charge can fall as low as 0.05% per annum. For shareholdings the maximum charge is £240 per annum - but if you place 1 or more chargeable trades each month we won’t charge you anything to hold your shares.

Fund Trading Free

We don’t charge for buying or selling funds.

Share Trading (Online) £11.50

Each time you buy or sell a share we charge £11.50.

SIPP Account Charge £100 + VAT

Please note: we will waive our SIPP charge if you have combined assets across the platform of £30,000 or more.

Clean priced funds - all funds purchased through us are clean priced and typically have no initial charge. See our charges in full.

Am I eligible to open a SIPP with you?

You will be eligible to open a SIPP account as long as you are a UK resident under the age of 75.

Can I take out a SIPP alongside other pensions?

Yes.  You may contribute to as many pensions as you like simultaneously but please be aware of your personal contribution limits and the annual and lifetime allowances.

What can I hold in my SIPP?

The following securities can be held in your SIPP;

  • Funds, Unit Trusts and OEICs
  • UK Equities listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
  • Investment Trusts and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Gilts and Bonds
  • Permanent Interest Bearing Shares (PIBS)
  • Exchange Traded Products
  • Overseas shares listed on the main European US Canadian and Far Eastern Markets

You cannot buy property, Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS), Options, Futures, Contracts for Difference, unquoted shares or Insurance company funds into the Charles Stanley Direct SIPP.

What is a Bed & SIPP?

A Bed & SIPP is a method of contributing to your SIPP using shares held in your trading account. On your instruction we will sell your chosen investments in your trading account, top up your SIPP with the proceeds in cash (which will be eligible for tax relief) and then buy back the shares to the value of the net contribution immediately. Once received the tax relief will be held in the SIPP cash account pending your investment instructions.

Investment involves risk. You may get back less than invested.