If your employer takes your contributions before tax (known as a net pay arrangement), you only pay tax on what’s left. This means, you’ll get your full tax relief straightaway regardless of the band or rate of tax you pay. So you don’t need to take any action or reclaim tax relief from HMRC. If you don’t pay tax as your earnings are below the annual income tax personal allowance (the standard personal allowance is £12,500 for the 2020/2021 tax year), you won’t be able to benefit from the tax relief or be able to claim any money back from HMRC.
If you make direct payments to us or your employer deducts your contributions after tax (this is known as relief at source), then we’ll automatically claim tax relief for you, adding the basic tax rate of 20% to your contributions. If you pay the Scottish starter rate of Income Tax at 19%, we’ll still give you tax relief at 20% and HMRC won’t ask you to repay the difference – so you won’t need to take any action. If you pay more than 20% tax, then you’ll need to complete a tax return to claim back the extra tax relief from HMRC.