You can receive tax relief in two ways: (depending on whether your contributions are made before or after tax):
1. If your employer takes your contributions before tax (known as a net pay arrangement), you’ll get your full tax relief straightaway at your usual rate of tax.
If your earnings are below the annual income tax personal allowance (£11,850 in the 2018/2019 tax year), you won’t receive tax relief as you don’t earn enough to pay tax.
2. If you make direct payments to us, or your employer deducts your contributions after tax (this is known as relief at source). We’ll automatically claim tax relief for you, adding the basic tax rate of 20% to your contributions. If you pay more than 20% tax, then you need to complete a Self-Assessment tax return to claim back the extra tax relief from HM Revenue & Customs.
If you don’t pay tax as your earnings are below the annual income tax personal allowance, you’ll still receive tax relief at the basic tax rate of 20% on the first £2,880 you pay into a pension pot each tax year.