Pension contribution tax relief calculator

Use our calculator to work out how much pension tax relief you may be able to claim back.

You can use this calculator to find out how much tax on pension contributions you may be able to reclaim from HMRC if your pension scheme uses ‘relief at source’. Note that not everyone is eligible for a tax rebate – the full breakdown of who can claim is below – and there is a maximum limit going back 4 years if you do make a claim.

Pension tax refund calculator

Enter your gross earnings for as many of the tax years below as you like, plus the pension contributions you made according to your payslip (not your pension account). Don't include contributions that your employer made.

2023/24 tax year

£
£

2022/23 tax year

£
£

2021/22 tax year

£
£

2020/21 tax year

£
£

Fill in the fields above to estimate the rebate you could be entitled to.

How does our calculator work?

1. Enter your annual income before tax for as many tax years as you like.

2. For those same tax years, enter the pension contributions you made. Do not include those made by your employer.

3. Press calculate.

Note: this calculator is for people who are contributing to a “relief at source” pension. Please check your pension scheme if you are unsure.

What does the result mean?

The calculator will determine whether you are a higher rate or additional rate taxpayer and if you are therefore able to claim a tax rebate from HMRC on your pension contributions.

If you contribute to a “relief at source” pension, your provider will claim basic-rate pension tax relief (25% of what you pay which is 20% of the gross contribution). For example, if you paid £2,000 into your pension, this would automatically be topped up by £500.

However, if you are a higher-rate taxpayer or additional-rate taxpayer, you are eligible for an additional tax rebate, which you will need to reclaim from HMRC.

If you earned £80,000 in a year and contributed £4,000 to your pension, you would get £1,000 added at source, but you would be eligible to claim back another £1,000 for a total of 40% tax relief. This is not applied automatically so you need to claim it via a tax return.

If you are not in one of these tax brackets, you will see a result of £0 because your pension tax relief of 20% is already applied at source. This doesn’t mean you don’t get any pension tax relief – it means that it will have already been applied to your pension pot and you don’t need to make a claim.

Why can I only enter contributions for 4 years?

Current limits mean that you can only claim a tax rebate for the previous 4 tax years. This means that if you have been paying a higher rate of tax for more than 4 years and haven’t claimed back your additional tax, you are no longer able to make that claim from HMRC.

As an example, someone who earns £90,000 per year (before tax) and contributes 5% to their workplace pension (£4,500) for 10 years can only claim £4,500 (£1,125 per year for 4 years) rather than the full £11,250, which would be the rebate for all 10 years.

What are the UK income tax brackets?

  • Basic rate: Annual income of £12,571 to £50,270. You pay income tax of 20%.
  • Higher rate: Annual income of £50,271 to £125,140. You pay income tax of 40%.
  • Additional rate: Annual income from £125,141. You pay income tax of 45%.

If you are interested in making a claim, you can also read our full guide on how to claim tax relief on pension contributions.

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Chris Lilly is Head of publishing at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more. See full bio

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