Tax Rate on Pension Income UK 2024

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Written by: Liez Comendador
Tax Rate on Pension Income

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Setting up pension pots is one of the most tax-efficient ways to earn a steady retirement income. State pension savings, for example, can be withdrawn at the age of 66 and onward. There are some other pension schemes to choose from aside from state pension, including workplace pension and private pension.  

Pension savings are considered as ordinary earnings, so you pay tax on your pension to HMRC just as with your employment earnings or other investments. How much tax you pay depends on your taxable retirement income after the starting rate allowance of 12,570 is applied.  

How much tax do I pay on my pension savings? This article will answer that and more, covering pension income tax rates for the tax year 2023 24, how to reduce tax on your pension, overseas pension tax, options for withdrawing your pension pot, whether you can still make pension contributions at retirement age, and other details. 

Why Is Pension Taxed?

Pension savings are treated as part of your total taxable income on the tax return, on top of your employment income or other investments, alongside capital gains tax. Since it is calculated as a part of your total annual income, you pay any tax to HMRC according to which tax band the after-allowance net allowance income belongs to.

However, planning your pension pot well will give you a better tax advantage, both at the times you make pension contributions and withdraw your pot. It is one of the safest types of investments. Your retirement income could come from one pension scheme or more for better income protection.

Compared to the property market or trust and bond products that are prevalent of risks, paying on a pension pot is a secure way for income protection at retirement, provided you talk to your pension provider and plan every approach beforehand with your financial adviser.

Quick Guide to Types of Pension Schemes

The three major types of pension pot products in the UK are:

  • State Pension
  • Workplace Pension
  • Private Pension

The state pension pot depends on your qualifying years and amount of NI contributions, which are deducted by your employer during your working life through PAYE. The old or basic state pension applies to someone retiring on or before 6 April 2016, whilst the new state pension applies after this news. Eligible pensioners can receive the full new state pension or some on a weekly basis or through lump sums generally at 66 years old.

Workplace pension, on the other hand, is an employer obligation pension pot. Every employer is responsible for enrolling their eligible employees in a workplace scheme. Both the employer and the employee pay into the workplace pension scheme. There are two types of workplace pensions: defined benefit and defined contribution.

Lastly, a private pension pot, also known as personal pension, is under a defined contribution scheme and is available to everyone—whether on employment, self employment, or unemployment. The more you pay into your pension provider, the more income for life you receive.

Private pension taxable income is filed in the same way as corporation tax.”

If you are still in employment during retirement years, such that you are still working a part time job, tax charge will be deducted through PAYE. If you are no longer working or under self employment, the tax you pay will go through self assessment tax return filed before the end of the tax year. 

Why is Pension Taxed?

You have some options on how you receive your pension savings—on a fixed annuity income or flexible lump sum payment. Fixed annuity income, such as in state pension, may be on a weekly basis. Alongside anything you earned such as other savings interest, property, or a job, the pension is added to your total income. If the figure stays within the standard personal allowance 12,570 in a year, you receive each pension without any tax.

Lump sum pensions be subject to a certain tax charge if added to total annual income and it reaches more than £12,570. You will have to pay income tax on state pension to HMRC once your income exceeds this number. Other state pension tax benefits may be offered, deducted at the source.

What Are the Tax Rates on Pension?

How much tax do I pay on my pension income? For the 2023 24 tax year, taxpayers pay tax to HMRC at the following rates:
Tax Band Taxable Income Rate of Income Tax
Standard Personal Allowance
Capped at £12,570
Basic Rate Taxpayer
Between £12,571 and £50,270
Higher Rate Taxpayer
Between £50,271 and £125,140
Additional Rate Taxpayer
More than £125,140

Once you exceed your annual lifetime allowance, you pay basic rate tax. In most cases, you pay tax at a higher rate to HMRC when you receive pensions at a larger lump sum. Most retirees would like to stay in the lane of their lifetime allowance and avoid extra tax. 

To avoid a higher rate amount of tax, it is best you work with your financial adviser before deciding how much income you receive in a lump sum. Expert advice will help you consider all your finances, making sure that your lump sum does not get pushed to the higher rate tax code.  

Starting April 2015, someone over the age of 66 has the choice of obtaining their total income from pension. One MP stated flatly that someone retired were permitted to blow the part on a Lamborghini if they so desired. Many people do not do this because it will result in a larger extra tax. 

Indeed, you would have to sell a £415,000 pension to buy a £288,000 supercar, plus pay enough tax to buy the Treasury a Porsche (£126,000). HMRC, MoneyHelper, or other websites offer calculator service platforms to determine how much money you will have in the 2023 24 tax year if you take your full pot, or some of it, as a lump sum. You can also learn about your average charge for 2023 24 with Legend Financial’s calculator data and guidance. 

If you fill out a tax return, your 2023 24 self-assessment should be completed by the end of the tax year. If you have a distinguished commitment pension (where you have built up pension investment funds during your working life), you can withdraw a 25% tax-free lump sum starting at age 66. You can also take a tax free lump sum of up to a fourth of your pension’s value, but if you do, you pay tax in the future. 

Do I Need to Pay Tax on My Pension?

It is critical you have a deeper understanding of how your pension annuity will work whilst creating your strategies. Remember that there are a lot of things to consider in a pension plan; seek advice and guidance from an expert before acting on it. The yearly tax does not apply to pensions or speculative income held in a pension reserve. 

When you make a profit, you can keep a percentage of 25 of your pension tax-free. Everything else is up to personal record evaluation. The payment would be determined by the Social Security Obligations (NCP), but no defined pension NICs exist. NICs are never generated by commercial defined pension commitments, and new welfare and social consideration duties are never created. And, in particular, the annuity from the fees. Death pensions are eligible for further tax allowance and would be given term and yearly limit conditions. 

Pensions are paid out on a regular basis, usually per month.”

If your primary source of income is state pension, you will not be exempt from paying personal taxes. If your total annual income is more than the annual lifetime allowance, you must pay yearly taxes on the excess. You can view information on how your manager handled your salary or seek support from a tax expert. 

The fees are deducted by the PAYE system since social security obligations are not paid in annuity installments. If you choose to participate in all your allowance or pay another PAYE and receive government pensions, the problem with your portion of the pension will vary. The remarks stated that the change would only apply to the affected fraction of the total. 

You will be paying tax on your additional sources of income if you are working at pension age.”

Do I Need To Pay Tax on My Pension?

If you want to work longer, you will likely bring home more money because you do not have to pay National Insurance contributions until you have reached state pension age. When your ‘available pay’ is more than your tax-exempt remunerations, you will be taxed on the difference at ordinary income tax rate. 

Because retirement age differs from pension age, you do not have to pay National Insurance contributions if you are over the state pension age. Individuals who turned 65 before 6 April 2014 will be eligible for a larger tax support. However, at the course after retirement, you will be required to pay income tax on any amount of pension money record that reaches more than your personal allowance. Whilst the state pension will not be completely tax-free if it is not assessed, it will be somewhat tax-free. 

Seeking support from tax accountants can help you ensure you have reliable information and better understanding of your taxes if you have income from other sources in addition to your pension. 

How Can I Avoid Paying Tax on My Pension?

The less money you withdraw each tax year, the more you can reduce your income tax due. The general idea is to withdraw just enough money from your pension to allow you to live comfortably. Leave as much money in your pension account as possible until you are certain you will use it. To keep your reserve savings growing, you can use income drawdown. 

Drawdown permits you to vary your pay from year to year, potentially triggering tax reserve funds.”

For example, if you burn through £25,000 in one year but only need to burn through £20,000 the next, you will save £1,000 in taxes if you draw down as much as you desire. Nonetheless, if you get paid equally but do not spend it, you will have squandered that £1,000. If you have a pension, you would not have this flexibility because your pension payments will be practically the same every month. In any case, a drawdown comes with its own set of risks. Consult an IFA to determine which of the pension options is best for you. 

What UK Tax Do I Pay on My Overseas Pension?

When the pension is not subjected to UK tax, there will be no double tax agreement, and thus, no assessment and tax obligation. But if your current country of residence is a member of double tax agreement with the UK, the agreement may override UK domestic tax rules. Meaning, you will only pay tax to the overseas authority and claim back a tax refund if you already paid your UK taxes.

What Is the Tax Position When I Take Money from My Pension Flexibly?

From 6 April 2015, an adaptable pension was put in place. The rules apply to “characterized commitment” or “cash buy” gifts, which are ones for which you have set aside a “pot” of money or speculations and must choose how to manage it. From the age of 55, you may be able to coax cash out of your cash purchase or defined contributions pension scheme regardless of how much and when you choose.  

“Flexible options for receiving pension may be riskier; consult tax professionals beforehand.” ”

However, do not go all out. A hasty decision could cost you a lot of money in the form of an unpleasant tax bill. You may have control over what you take out of your cash buy or defined contributions pension, but withdrawing too much may subject you to a higher emergency rate where your tax band is adjusted. Your emergency tax code may be higher or lower, but usually with over withdrawal, your tax code is pushed higher. 

When withdrawing funds from a pension, keep the following in mind:

If you can avoid it, it is critical not to rush a decision on your annuities. Consider everything, including your personal and financial circumstances, business decisions, potential tax consequences of receiving pension savings interest early, anticipated arrangements, and, most importantly, the implications for a tax, tax breaks, all-inclusive credit, and other pensions other state pension. Consider everything first.  

For instance, you may pay a lower tax on cash from annuities if you take it in stages, spread it out across different tax years, or wait till after you have stopped working. However, tax is not the most important factor. There could be another reason why you need more money sooner. 

Whilst you can read a lot of articles about this topic, we recommend that you carefully consider your situation with tax experts before acting. Experts’ tax calculator is more reliable than using any website’s calculator without adequate knowledge on UK taxes.  

Can I Still Pay on My Pension After Retirement?

You can choose to continue paying for your pension even if you are already retired and have depleted your retirement funds. This provides tax relief to UK people under the age of 75, allowing them to retire more easily. 

Can I Pay into Pension After Retirement?

Those who are unemployed or with a total annual income of less than £3,600, for example, can continue to pay up to £2,880 per tax year. The government will provide 20% of it, or £720, as tax relief for your pension contribution. Whether you have flexible access to your pension or not, you can always benefit from tax relief.

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) will be triggered if you have flexible access to your pension, which means your pay will be capped at up to £4,000 each year. You will not be triggering MPAA if you do not have flexible access to your pension, which means you have no limit how much tax relief you may get.

Can I Still Pay on My Pension AftHow Legend Financial Can Help

There are a lot to consider when you join a pension scheme. Taxes should come first, as they can considerably reduce the amount you can keep for yourself instead. Legend Financial is here to help you reduce your tax rate on pension income to the lowest possible figure. Reach us today! 


​Pension tax relief – the annual and lifetime allowances. (n.d.). Retrieved from House of Commons Library:

Tax on your private pension contributions. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Tax when you get a pension. (n.d.). Retrieved from

What tax do I pay on my state pension lump sum? (n.d.). Retrieved from LITRG:…/what-tax-do-i-pay-my-state-pension-lump-sum

Working past State Pension age. (n.d.). Retrieved from NIDIRECT:


  • Faizan Rashid

    Faizan is a well-qualified accountant with a firm belief in a team environment, working to deadlines, is usually absolute as tax return deadlines are non-negotiable. He is highly regarded and the most experienced professional of Legend Financial.

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Faizan Rashid
Faizan is a well-qualified accountant with a firm belief in a team environment, working to deadlines, is usually absolute as tax return deadlines are non-negotiable. He is highly regarded and the most experienced professional of Legend Financial.

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