Can I have more than one SIPP?

We explain the pros and cons of having multiple SIPPs, and how it affects your pension tax relief.

Self-invested personal pensions, or SIPPs, can be a good option for those looking for pension flexibility, choice and control. For some people, splitting your pension funds across more than one SIPP can seem an appealing way to boost those benefits.

However, opening more than one SIPP can also add complexity and, potentially, higher costs when managing your pensions. There are some key advantages and disadvantages to consider if you want to open multiple SIPPs.

What is a SIPP?

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a type of private pension. Like all private, or personal, pensions, SIPPs are defined contribution (DC) pensions. This means that the money you pay into your pension is invested, and the value of your pension pot when you retire will depend on investment performance.

Unlike standard personal pensions, where the pension provider manages the investments on your behalf, with a SIPP you are in control of exactly how your pension funds are invested. This means they tend to be better for those with experience in investing. SIPPs tend to offer a wider range of investment options than regular pensions, though SIPP pension charges can be higher as a result. You can find out more about the pros and cons of SIPPs in our full guide to self-invested personal pensions.

Is it possible to have more than one SIPP?

Yes. Just as it’s fine to have both a personal pension (such as a SIPP) and a workplace pension at the same time, you can also hold multiple SIPPs at the same time.

Is there a maximum number of SIPPs I can have?

In theory, you can have as many personal pensions – including SIPPs – as you want. There’s no legal limit. However, while there may be benefits for in having more than one SIPP, we wouldn’t recommend opening too many. Doing so can make it harder to keep track of and manage your pension pots.

Can I pay into multiple SIPPs at the same time?

Yes. For example, if you have a certain amount you want to contribute towards your pension each month, you can choose to split this between 2 or more SIPPs.

However, bear in mind that there’s a limit to how much you can pay in each year across all of your pension pots and still benefit from tax relief on contributions. So, you’ll need to keep an eye on this to avoid exceeding your allowance.

What are the benefits of having more than one SIPP?

There are a few potential benefits of investing into more than one SIPP. How valuable these benefits are to you will depend on your personal circumstances. Benefits may include the following:

  • Access to a wider range of investment options. In general, SIPPs tend to have a wider range of investment options than standard personal pensions. These can include more sophisticated investments, such as individual stocks and shares, or even commercial property and off-shore funds. But not every investment will be available from a single provider. Having more than one SIPP will increase the range of investment choices available.
  • You can choose the cheapest provider for each type of investment. For example, one provider might be cheaper for shares and another might be cheaper for funds. If you want to invest in different types of investments, you may be able to save money by choosing the cheapest provider for each type. You’ll need to offset this against any additional costs incurred by holding multiple accounts in the first place, though. This might be important if fees are fixed rather than being charged as a percentage of your pot.
  • Holding your money across more than one SIPP spreads the risk in case of problems with the provider. If a SIPP operator fails, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may be able to offer compensation up to a maximum of £85,000 per person per firm. So if you hold more than £85,000 in a SIPP, it could be worth splitting it across multiple providers.

Are there any downsides to having more than one SIPP?

Running multiple SIPP accounts in parallel can have some disadvantages too, including the following:

  • It could cost you more in certain charges. As mentioned above, if annual management charges are fixed rather than a percentage of your pot, this could effectively double (or more) these fees. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some providers charge tiered platform fees, depending on how much you have invested. For example, you might pay 0.5% on the value of your pot up to £100,000, and 0.25% on amounts above this. Splitting your pension into multiple smaller pots could mean you miss out on any preferential rates for higher levels of saving.
  • It involves more time and effort. The administrative burden of managing several investment accounts will inevitably be higher than looking after just one. It’ll also be trickier to get a clear overview of your funds.
  • You’ll need to pay closer attention to allowances. The amount you can pay into a pension each year and benefit from tax relief is capped at £60,000 or 100% of your annual salary (but this could change).

How do I open more than one SIPP?

The process for opening a second (or third or fourth) SIPP works in the same way as the first SIPP you open. You can find out more about different types of SIPPs, who offers them and how to open a SIPP in our full SIPP comparison guide.

If you’re tempted by the potential benefits of opening more than one SIPP but aren’t sure whether it’s worth it, it’s sensible to seek advice from a regulated financial adviser. They’ll be able to work through the pros and cons and make recommendations based on your specific circumstances.

Directories that can help you search for a regulated financial adviser based on what you’re looking for include the government’s MoneyHelper website, the Society of Later Life Advisers, The Personal Finance Society and Unbiased.

If I have multiple SIPPs, how much can I pay into each one?

There are no restrictions on how much you can pay into SIPPs over your lifetime, but as it stands, you can only contribute £60,000 or 100% of your annual salary each year under the current rules (but this can change based on decisions by the government).

How does tax relief work if I have more than one SIPP?

George Sweeney

Finder expert George Sweeney answers

When you pay money into a pension scheme, your contributions usually benefit from tax relief. This applies whether you’re paying into a workplace pension, a standard personal pension or a SIPP.

With SIPPs, you’ll typically receive basic-rate (20%) income tax relief at source. This means that the tax you would have paid on each contribution is added to your pension pot. If you are a higher-rate (40% or 45%) taxpayer, you can claim the extra via your tax return or contacting HMRC.

Importantly, though, you only qualify for tax relief pension contributions up to a 100% of your yearly salary or an annual amount of £60,000 each year for most people.

This allowance can be split up however you like. So, assuming you qualify for the full £60,000 allowance, you could pay £40,000 into one SIPP, and £20,000 into a second SIPP, for example, and benefit from tax relief on your full contributions into both schemes. This assumes you don’t have any separate personal or workplace pensions that you’re actively paying into.

Can I consolidate multiple SIPPs into a single account if I want to?

Whatever your reasons for having more than one SIPP in the first place, if you later decide that this approach isn’t right for you, you can consolidate your pension funds into a single scheme.

Compare SIPP providers

Name Product Brand description Min investment Min monthly investment Number of funds Transfer available Offer Link
Wealthify Pension
£50
£0
10 Portfolios

Capital at risk

Platform details
OFFER
Interactive Investor SIPP
£0
£25
3000
Enter a prize draw to win £100,000 if you open an ii SIPP by 31 July and deposit £5,000 min. T&Cs apply.

Capital at risk

Platform details
Hargreaves Lansdown SIPP
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
£100
£25
2500

Capital at risk

Platform details
BONUS
Penfold SIPP
£0
£0
4 Portfolios
Bonus of up to £1000 for your pension when tranferring to Penfold

Capital at risk

Platform details
Moneyfarm SIPP
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
£1,500
£0
7

Capital at risk

Platform details
AJ Bell SIPP
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
£1,000
£0
2000

Capital at risk

Platform details
Charles Stanley SIPP
£0
£0
>10,000
Get up to £1,500 cashback when you transfer your cash and/or investments to Charles Stanley Direct. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.

Capital at risk

Platform details
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Before you take this step, make sure you check for any exit penalties on the schemes you’ll be closing. Assess whether the pros of switching outweigh the cons.

Bottom line

SIPPs are designed for more experienced investors that want to take control of how their pension funds are managed. Having more than one SIPP takes this to the next level, opening up yet more investment choices and, potentially, allowing you to choose the cheapest SIPP provider for different types of investment. But, having multiple pension accounts will inevitably take more administrative time and effort. You’ll also need to keep more careful track of your pension allowances.

Frequently asked questions

Pensions are long-term investments. You may get back less than you originally paid in because your capital is not guaranteed and charges may apply. Keep in mind that the tax treatment of your pension and investments will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future. Capital at risk.
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by George Sweeney, DipFA as part of our fact-checking process.
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Writer

Ceri Stanaway is a researcher, writer and editor with more than 15 years’ experience, including a long stint at independent publisher Which?. She’s helped people find the best products and services, and avoid the pitfalls, across topics ranging from broadband to insurance. Outside of work, you can often find her sampling the fares in local cafes. See full bio

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