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How many pensions can I have?

There is no limit to the number of pensions you can have. Many people build up a number of work schemes over the course of their career, and they may have one or more personal pensions as well.

However there is a limit to the pension contributions that can go into your pensions with the benefit of tax relief. For most people this is either 100% of their taxable earnings or £40,000 each tax year, whichever is the lower figure.

The annual pension allowance of £40,000 goes down to £4,000 once you have made a taxable withdrawal from your pension. It is then called the money purchase annual allowance.

You may also need to think about the lifetime allowance, which applies to the total value of all your pension schemes. If all your pensions are worth more than the lifetime allowance, you may have to pay tax on the excess. The lifetime allowance is adjusted each year in line with inflation. For the 2019/20 tax year, the allowance is £1,055,000.

It is important to remember that allowances relating to the amount of tax relief you are entitled to on pension contributions, such as the annual allowance and lifetime allowance, apply to all your pensions in total. You do not have separate allowances for each pension.

Find out more about your pension allowances.