5. You get a pension

Too much tax taken from your pension

Your pension provider may pay you back automatically if you pay too much tax on your pension (including cash from a defined contribution scheme).

If they don’t, call HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and tell them why you think you’ve overpaid.

You’ve retired and only get the State Pension

Fill in form P50.

You’ve taken cash or a lump sum from your pension

You may have paid too much tax if you take cash or a lump sum that’s partly tax-free from either:

Lump sums from defined benefit schemes (‘trivial commutation’)

If you fill in a Self Assessment tax return each year, you’ll get a refund when you’ve sent your return.

If you don’t fill in a tax return, fill in form P53 to claim a refund.

Cash from defined contribution schemes (eg lump sum or ‘drawdown’)

If the payment:

  • used up your pension pot and you have no other income in the tax year, fill in form P50Z
  • used up your pension pot and you have other taxable income, fill in form P53Z
  • didn’t use up your pension pot and you’re not taking another cash payment before 6 April 2016, fill in form P55

You bought a pension annuity after April 2007

Tax on a pension annuity bought after April 2007 is paid through PAYE - the same as a company or personal pension.

Call HMRC if you think you’ve overpaid tax from April 2007 onwards.

You bought a pension annuity before April 2007

You can’t reclaim any tax you overpaid before April 2007.

You live abroad

There are different rules for claiming a tax refund on your UK pension income if you live abroad.