Stakeholder Pension

A Stakeholder Pension plan is designed to build up a sum of money in a tax-efficient way, to support you in retirement.

Grow your retirement savings

Save and invest with a range of investments to choose from

Take some money when you need it

From age 55 you can access your money whenever you need to

Use your pot to buy a guaranteed income for life – an annuity

Choose to take up to 25% of your pot as a one-off tax-free lump sum then convert the rest into an annuity

Key features and benefits

  • Start from as little as £20.
  • 1% Annual Management Charge.
  • Tax relief on your payments.
  • Stop, restart or change your payments without charge.
  • Access to online features to check your pension pot and fund performance.

Tax depends on individual circumstances that can change. Tax rules can also change.

Eligibility and risks

  • You must normally be resident in the UK.
  • You must be under age 75.
  • Minimum age for online applications is 18, or 16 if you are employed.
  • You can be an employee or self-employed.
  • Children, grandchildren and non-earners can have a Stakeholder Pension.
  • You can apply even if you’re already a member of an employer’s scheme, or hold a personal pension.
  • Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn't guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.
  • The value of the tax benefits of a pension plan depends on your individual circumstances. Tax rules and your circumstances may change in the future.

Frequently asked questions

None of us can be certain about the future, but we can prepare for it. By answering a few simple questions and choosing the funds you would like your money to be invested in, you can get a rough idea of what income you could expect to receive when you take your benefits, if certain growth rates and other assumptions are met. This is called your personal illustration.

As well as income and a tax-free lump sum, you can take one or more pension encashments once you are age 55 (subject to restrictions which apply).

The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend upon a number of factors including the value of the plan when you decide to take your benefits, which isn't guaranteed and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.

Like most pensions, we charge for managing and investing your plan which are shown in a personal illustration. There is only one annual charge applicable and this is currently 1% per annum of your fund value – there are no separate set-up charges.

If you take advice from a financial adviser you will also need to pay for the advice you receive. The adviser will explain the charges that apply for advice, these charges are in addition to (not part of) the product charges.

You can increase the amount you pay at any time subject to the limits that apply.

You can even decrease or stop making payments if your circumstances change, although you should always discuss this decision with your financial adviser as it is likely to mean less money is available when you take your benefits.

You can request an illustration from us showing the effect of reducing or stopping your payments.

You can invest in our range of unit-linked pension funds.

You can choose to put all your pension into one fund, or spread it between up to 10 funds. There are also a number of Pension Investment Approaches available that have lifestyling switching.

Your choice of funds should be based on your own circumstances, and on your attitude to risk.

You can read our Stakeholder Funds Guide (pdf) to view our fund range.

You can find out more information about our Pension Investment Approaches here.

Please contact us for details.

When your plan is set up, you will receive your policy documents followed by a personalised illustration based on your chosen payments, fund choices and selected pension date. This will show you what you might get back when you take your benefits.

Every year we’ll send you an updated pension benefits statement which shows the value of your plan and what you might get back, assuming certain assumptions are met. You can also keep track of your pension online, as well as checking daily fund prices.

If you are employed, we recommend you consult your employer about whether there is a company pension scheme you can join before you make a final decision on a private Stakeholder Pension.

You can open a new Stakeholder pension or top up an existing plan through one of the following ways:

From a Scottish Widows representative

A Scottish Widows representative will help you set up a new Stakeholder pension, or top up an existing Stakeholder pension. Whilst financial advice is not available, they will be able to offer guidance on your options to help you make an informed decision.

You can speak to a Scottish Widows representative by calling 0345 845 1004.

Alternatively, request a call back and we’ll call you at a time that’s best for you.


From an Independent Financial Adviser

New Stakeholder pensions are no longer available via an Independent Financial Adviser. However, they are still able to provide advice on an existing Scottish Widows Stakeholder Pension.

If you haven’t got a financial adviser:

Pension basics

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

Find out more

Pension freedom

You now have more choices when it comes to taking your pensions and retirement income.

Find out more

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