Guidance

Self Assessment: claim tax relief on pension contributions

You can claim tax relief on your Self Assessment return for contributions you make towards registered pension schemes.

Overview

You can get tax relief on most contributions you make to:

  • registered pension schemes
  • some overseas pension schemes

You can’t claim relief for payments you make through your pension contributions towards life insurance, if it’s a personal term assurance policy.

If you’re not sure whether you can claim relief on contributions, ask your pension scheme administrator or insurance company.

When you can claim relief

You can claim tax relief on most contributions you make towards registered pension schemes. This includes a:

  • group life policy
  • personal (non-group) life policy
  • protected policy

Group life policy

This policy type:

  • covers a group of people who aren’t from the same family
  • will pay out on the death of more than one of the people insured

You can get tax relief on your contributions to a group life policy, subject to your normal pension contribution rules.

Personal (non-group) life policy

A personal (non-group) life policy only pays out if an insured person is terminally ill or dies. The policy can cover:

  • one person only
  • more than one person, but will only pay out on the death of one insured person
  • a group of people who’re from the same family, in this case, the policy might pay out on the death of more than one insured person

Protected policy

Your scheme administrator or the insurance company can tell you if your policy is protected.

A policy will lose its protected status if changes to its terms mean either the:

  • amount of benefits payable under the policy goes up
  • time period covered by the policy is extended

When you can’t claim relief

You can’t get tax relief if you use your pension contributions to pay premiums for a personal term assurance policy, unless it’s a protected policy.

Personal term assurance is a life insurance policy that either:

  • ends on the death of the first insured person
  • insures people all from the same family
Published 12 May 2016