Standard Life pension review

Standard Life offers personal pensions, SIPPs and workplace pensions. Find out how to invest in one.

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Standard Life
Standard Life is a well known pensions provider in the UK. When deciding to put a little aside into a private or personal pension, this might be one of the providers you consider. But what features does it have and how does it work?

What is Standard Life?

Standard Life is a pensions and investments provider in the UK. It provides both personal pensions, self invested personal pensions and workplace pensions. It also has a range of different options available for when you want to take money from your pension at retirement. Standard life speaks in plain English with these options, instead of using fancy language and jargon that you usually see.

How does Standard Life work?

Like other pension providers, Standard Life begins by asking what it is you’re looking for, helping you get straight to what you need.
The options are:

  • I want to understand the basics
  • I want to get a standard life pension
  • I’m saving for my retirement
  • I’m planning when and how to take my money
  • I’m retiring soon and need advice on my income options

Standard Life personal pension

Standard Life’s personal pension, which it calls the “Active Money Person Pension” (AMPP) lets you choose between “easy” and “DIY” investment options, depending on how hands on you want to be with your investments.

What is a personal pension?

A personal pension is a pension that you manage yourself, separately to a workplace pension. It’s basically a savings account that you get access to once you turn 55, but the money is invested to help it grow. Because the money is invested, there’s a chance that the value of your investments will go down.

When you turn 55, you can start to withdraw your pension pot. How much you get depends on how much you saved over the years, how well your investments performed, any charges that apply to your account and how you choose to draw down your pension.

Features of the Standard Life personal pension include:

  • Flexible payment options. Choose to pay in £80 per month or £800 as a lump sum.
  • Manage your plan online. Start, stop, or change your payments whenever you like.
  • Choose between Easy and DIY. Decide how much help you want with your investments
  • Consolidate your pensions. You can transfer your current pensions over to Standard Life and keep them all in one plan.

Self invested personal pension (SIPP)

Self invested personal pensions are a type of personal pension, but they offer a larger choice of investments. You’d generally choose a SIPP if you are an experienced investor and know how to manage your portfolio.

Features of the Standard Life SIPP include:

  • More options. You get access to a larger number of investment options
  • Flexible payment options. As with its personal pension, you can pay in £80 per month or £800 each year.
  • Manage your plan online. Start, stop, or change your payments whenever you like.

Pros and cons of Standard Life


  • Has a personal pension and a SIPP available
  • Lets you choose how hands on you want to be


  • High fees compared with other providers

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