Already saving?

If you’re already saving, that’s great. However, it’s important to review your savings on a regular basis to help you achieve your long-term goals.

Do you want to save more?

Looking at different ways to free up some of your monthly outgoings is a good place to start.

Doing some work on reducing your outgoings could give you the opportunity to save more for your future.

Comparing savings options

A pension isn’t the only way to save for your future – using an ISA could provide an alternative.

The table below show how these options compare.

  Pension ISA
How much can I pay in? As much as you earn, but you generally get tax relief up to the maximum of £40,000 (for tax year 2017/2018) You can pay in up to the maximum annual ISA limit, of £20,000 (for tax year 2017/2018)
Can I get tax relief on my payments? Yes – see above No
Are there restrictions on when I can take the investment? Yes, you normally can’t access your pension savings until the age of 55 No, you can access your money and make easy withdrawals
Can I take some of the proceeds or benefits tax-free? Yes Yes
Is all of the income or proceeds tax-free? No Yes
Can the value go up and down? The value of the investment is not guaranteed and may go up and down depending on investment performance (and currency exchange rates where a fund invests overseas). The value can fall below the amount of contributions paid in Cash ISA – No but the real value could be eroded if interest is lower than inflation
Stocks and Shares ISA – Yes the level of risk will depend on the investments you choose to put into it
Are there any charges? Yes Cash ISA – No
Stocks and Shares ISA – Yes
Can other individuals pay money in on my behalf (and benefit from tax relief)? Yes No

Pension vs ISA. What should I do?

Whether you're looking to save into an ISA or a pension, this video highlights the benefits of both to help you make the right decision.

Your Scottish Widows pension

If you have a pension with Scottish Widows already and want to put more in, visit our Individual Pensions page for more information.

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Combine your pensions

Got more than one pension? Then you could think about putting them all in one place. Combining your pensions with Scottish Widows is simple and we won't charge you for this service.

Pension transfers

Pension basics

Whatever stage of the retirement journey you’re at, get the basics before you go any further.

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