Check your pension's protection

FSCS protects you when financial firms fail. We’re independent and our service is free to use. And you’ll keep all the compensation you’re owed when you claim directly through us.

Of all the financial products we cover, pensions are probably the most complicated. There are lots of pension options, and since the introduction of pension freedom in 2015 you can do more with your money in retirement.

If your pension provider or financial adviser goes out of business, we may be able to step in and pay compensation. But FSCS protection varies depending on the type of pension product, and there are limits to the amount we can compensate.

Answer a couple of simple questions and we'll help you find out how much protection FSCS may offer.

Tell us about your situation...

I've not got a pension yet

But I want to know more about how protection works...

I've got a pension, or I'm considering a change to it

Am I protected if anything goes wrong?

I'm already taking my pension, or I'm retiring soon

Is my hard-earned money safe?

Which type(s) of pension do you have, or which type(s) are you considering taking out?

A 'final salary' scheme through my employer
Also known as a 'defined benefit' scheme
A workplace pension that's a 'defined contribution' scheme
Where I and/or my employer make regular contributions
A self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
Where you manage your investments yourself
Another type of personal pension
Usually where someone manages your investment for you
I'm not sure what type I have, or what type I want

What have you done with your pension pot, or what are you thinking of doing?

I have or am thinking about an annuity
So I can have the security of a guaranteed income
I've saved or invested it - or I'm thinking of doing so
So that I can continue to earn more from my money
I've done both - or I'm thinking about what to do

Final salary pension schemes are generally covered by the Pension Protection Fund.

Your final salary pension is known as a 'defined benefit' scheme. These are protected by the Pension Protection Fund. But if you're thinking of changing your pension, your new pension may not be protected. To find out, follow the steps below.

 

Defined contribution work pension schemes are structured in different ways, so you’ll need to check whether you’re FSCS protected or not.

Your defined contribution workplace pension could be set up to be trust-based, contract-based, or group-based. FSCS protection would depend on how your particular scheme was set up.

Visit MoneyHelper to learn more about this type of pension.

If you've already retired, and used the funds from a defined contribution workplace pension scheme to buy an annuity from a UK regulated provider, FSCS protects this at 100%.

 

If your FCA-regulated SIPP provider fails, funds are generally ring-fenced. Shortfalls may be FSCS protected up to £85,000

If your SIPP provider fails, the funds are generally safe as they're ring-fenced and can't be used to pay creditors. Shortfalls in assets or money may be covered by FSCS up to £85,000.

If a firm that provided a product within the SIPP failed, FSCS may still be able to protect your money. The level of protection depends on the type of product. Investments, insurance products, or cash in a deposit account all have different protection levels.

Individual SIPPs vary, and to be certain of your level of protection, follow the steps below.

FSCS protection for your type of personal pension depends on the type of its investments.

If your personal pension provider fails, the funds are generally safe as they're ring-fenced and can't be used to pay creditors. Shortfalls in assets or money may be covered by FSCS up to £85,000.

If a firm that provided a product within the personal pension failed, FSCS may still be able to protect your money. The level of protection depends on the type of product. Investments, insurance products, or cash in a deposit account all have different protection levels. If your pension is structured as a 'contract of long-term insurance', protection may be 100%.

Individual personal pensions vary, and to be certain of your level of protection, follow the steps below.

Without knowing more, we can't tell you what protection you have

You'll need to do some research using the organisations below.

Good news. Our annuity protection is 100% with no upper limit.

Our annuity protection is 100% with no upper limit. Your annuity must be with a PRA-authorised insurer, and it must be classed as a ‘contract of long-term insurance’ to be eligible for FSCS protection. If you’re unsure if your annuity is a ‘contract of long-term insurance’, ask your provider. Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to help.

Depending on how your investments are structured, you have varying levels of FSCS protection.

If your lump sum is saved as cash with a UK bank, building society, or credit union - for example in a normal savings account - you're protected up to £85,000. Remember that the limit applies to each banking licence, and some banks share a licence across different brands. This will affect how much of your money we can protect. Use our deposit protection checker to check your accounts are covered.

If you’ve re-invested some of your pension pot to provide an income (known as ‘pension drawdown’), then FSCS may protect your money under our investment cover. This type of product doesn’t provide a guaranteed income, and FSCS can’t protect you if your investments simply don’t perform as you'd hoped. We can only step in if the provider has failed and they acted negligently in some way.

Depending on how your investments are structured, you have varying levels of FSCS protection.

Our annuity protection is 100% with no upper limit. Your annuity must be with a PRA-authorised insurer, and it must be a ‘contract of long-term insurance’ to be eligible for FSCS protection. If you’re unsure if your annuity is a ‘contract of long-term insurance’, ask your provider. Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to help.

Many people use their lump sum to pay off their mortgage or treat themselves to a dream holiday. If instead, you choose to invest or save it, you may be protected by our investments or deposits cover, up to £85,000.

To check your pension's protection

Step 1

If you're considering switching your pension or taking out a new one, search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to check that it authorises the pension provider.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask any provider about your FSCS protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

Ask your employer about your particular defined contribution workplace pension scheme to find out if it’s FSCS protected. Or if you know the pension provider, ask them if your pension is FSCS protected.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask your provider about FSCS protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

If you're considering switching your pension or taking out a new one, search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to check that it authorises the pension provider.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask any provider about your FSCS protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

If you're considering switching your pension or taking out a new one, search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to check that it authorises the pension provider.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask any provider about your FSCS protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

Check out the information that MoneyHelper offers on pensions.

Step 2

Find out from your pension provider what type of pension you have.

Step 3

Come back and check your FSCS protection once you know more about your pension.

Step 1

Check your annuity is a 'contract of long-term insurance'.

Step 2

Search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to make sure your provider is authorised in the UK.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

If you're considering a new investment, search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to check that the provider is authorised.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask any provider about your protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

Step 1

If you're considering a new product, search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register to make sure your provider is authorised.

Step 2

Use our key questions (pdf 215KB) to ask any provider about your protection.

Step 3

Be wary of scams - visit the FCA's ScamSmart page to find out more.

To check your pension's protection

As you're thinking about pension protection you should...

FSCS protection for pensions

Maybe you’re thinking about taking out a pension. Our main pensions page includes information on how we protect different types of pension products - as our protection does vary. It can be difficult to understand at first as pensions are complicated, but if you're stuck, you can contact us for help.

We can't give you advice on your choices, but we can help you with questions about our protection and compensation limits.

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Thinking about getting financial advice?

If you’re going to seek financial advice, and the adviser is authorised by the FCA, we can protect you if things go wrong. This means if the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

We also have some useful questions (pdf 215KB) that you can ask any provider if you’re considering taking out a pension with them. They’ll help you find out if FSCS can protect your money and, if so, how much. This is an important part of any financial decision.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Useful downloads and links

Have you had financial advice, or are you considering it?

You're also FSCS protected if you use a financial adviser that's FCA-authorised when buying an annuity. If the adviser goes out of business and you lose money as a result of poor advice, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper. Its support and guidance are free.

Our main pensions page includes information about how we can protect other types of pension products.

Useful downloads and links

Have you had financial advice, or are you considering it?

If you took investment advice from an FCA-regulated financial adviser, this is something we can protect. If the adviser goes out of business and you’ve lost money because of the poor advice they gave you, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Our main pensions page includes information about how we protect other types of pension products.

Useful downloads and links

Have you had financial advice, or are you considering it?

If you use a financial adviser that's authorised by the FCA when buying your annuity or choosing an investment for your lump sum, this is also something we can protect. If the adviser goes out of business and you lose money as a result of poor advice, we may be able to compensate you up to £85,000.

If you need general advice about any money matters, including pensions, visit MoneyHelper – its support and guidance are free.

Our main pensions page includes information about how we can protect other types of pension products.

Useful downloads and links