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Retirement planning for high income earners

Having a high income, or multiple or large pension pots can make retirement planning more complicated. As a high earner you’re faced with more pension rules, allowances, limits, tax considerations and potential pitfalls than most.

Our expert independent Wealth Planners specialise in advising wealthy individuals on pensions and can ensure you make best use of all allowable pension reliefs, tax-efficient investments and alternative ways to save for the retirement you want.

High income retirement options – book a free consultation

If you’re a high earner looking to save tax-efficiently for retirement, request a free consultation with one of our expert and impartial Wealth Planners.  

Get in touch

Why high earners choose us for retirement planning

  • Independent, impartial advice – our Wealth Planners are not tied to any providers (not even our own)
  • Specialist expertise – advising high income earners on the complex and ever-changing pension rules and tax reliefs
  • Cash flow forecasting – to help focus your plans on achieving the retirement you want
  • Comprehensive financial planning – highly qualified Wealth Planners able to consider your financial and tax positions as a whole
  • Long term relationship – we will get to know you so we can stay focussed on your specific needs and aspirations
  • Ongoing reviews – to ensure your retirement plan adapts to any changes in your goals, financial situation or pension rules

Options for high earners close to the pension lifetime allowance

Our expert Wealth Planners can advise you on whether you are saving too much or have too much built up in your pension, and may breach the lifetime allowance, meaning there could be a tax charge to pay on the excess amount.

If so, your Wealth Planner can advise you on a range of pension and tax planning options that, depending on your circumstances, may help you achieve your retirement goals:

Drawing an income from your pension can be complicated, with a lot of elements to consider, seeking professional advice can make all the difference in meeting your objectives in retirement. 

If you don’t need to draw the income, there are other options, including simply leaving the fund intact, to be inherited following your death. You could also consider making gifts to individuals or to charity. As pension benefits usually fall outside of the inheritance tax net, they can be a highly tax efficient way to pass funds down the generations. 

Tax-efficient options for high earners saving for retirement

Your Wealth Planner can use cash flow modelling to forecast both your pension and future outgoings, based on assumed inflation and investment returns, and advise you on any action you may be able to take to ensure your overall assets are managed in a tax efficient way.

They can also advise you on other, more tax efficient ways for you to continue saving for retirement. Watch our short video with Senior Wealth Adviser, Mike Alford.


ISAs allow you to place £20,000 each tax year in a tax-free wrapper (£40,000 for a married couple or civil partners), and the compounding effect plus a supportive market over time can make a real difference.

Gifting a portion of your investments to your spouse or civil partner could save you both tax. It enables you both to optimise your individual tax positions and allowances, potentially enhancing your overall financial position.

An ‘offshore bond’ is an investment wrapper set up by a life insurance company in a jurisdiction with a favourable tax regime, such as the Isle of Man or Dublin. The growth in the investments held in the bond is not subject to UK tax although gains on withdrawal may be subject to income tax. As this type of investment offers the opportunity to defer tax it makes it a useful way to top up your retirement savings.

You can take out up to 5% of your original investment each year for 20 years without incurring an immediate income tax liability. If you don’t use the full 5%, it accumulates for future years, allowing you the potential to choose when to incur an income tax charge.

In the future you may be able to gift part or all the bond to family members to help with estate planning. Any taxable gains will be based on their individual tax rate, which could be beneficial if this is more favourable than your own.

Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) are run by fund managers and typically invest in unquoted and/or smaller AIM-listed companies – a sub-market of the London Stock Exchange. Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) are direct investments in unquoted companies.

Both EIS and VCT investments attract tax reliefs, provided the investment managers keep to certain rules, but also carry a high level of investment risk. There are limits to how much you can invest and the tax relief available is subject to a minimum holding period.

Investments in VCTs and EISs are high risk as they invest in small companies with shares that are highly illiquid and can be hard to sell. They are only suitable for UK resident taxpayers who can tolerate higher risk and have a time horizon of greater than five years. They attract tax relief provided the underlying managers keep to certain rules.

A family investment company, a limited company whose shareholders are family members, often funded by the founder via a loan, can be a tax-efficient way for high income earners to invest. Income generated by the company will be subject to corporation tax, currently 25%, and shareholders only pay tax when the company distributes income.

This is a complex area requiring specialist wealth planning and tax advice.


Tax-efficient options for high earners to help family members

As well as saving for retirement, you might want to consider ways to reduce your tax liabilities while helping your family.

ISAs and Junior ISAs

You can invest up to £20,000 each tax year in an ISA and benefit from any growth being free of capital gains tax and UK income tax.

In addition, there is a junior ISA allowance of £9,000. This is a good way to introduce young people to the world of finance and help them understand what can be achieved through disciplined saving. They can access their ISA from their 18th birthday.

Pensions for children

The earlier you start building a nest egg for a child or grandchild, the more it can compound over time.

Contributions are not linked to your earnings, and you can contribute up to £3,600 per tax year. Allowing for tax relief this means a contribution of £2,880, with £720 of tax relief added by HMRC. Access is possible once they reach the age of 57. This is an increase from age 55 with effect from 6 April 2028.


Retirement planning for high earners – book a free consultation

If you’re a high earner looking to save tax-efficiently for retirement, request a free consultation with one of our expert and impartial independent Wealth Planners.

Get in touch

Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The tax treatment of all investments depends upon individual circumstances and the levels and basis of taxation may change in the future. Investors should discuss their financial arrangements with their own tax adviser before investing.

The information provided is not to be treated as specific advice. It has no regard for the specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any specific person or entity.


Book a free retirement planning consultation


Typically, we provide financial advice to clients with assets over £250,000. Please note, we do not offer a one-off share sale service below these amounts.

If you are interested in career opportunities at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, then please do not use this form to get in touch. Instead, please head over to our careers page to find out more.

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What happens next?

1. Arranging an initial consultation

First you can expect to receive an email from our team within 48 hours to find a suitable time that works for you, to arrange a voice or video call for an initial consultation.

2. Your consultation 

During this consultation, a member of the team will discuss your situation with you to understand your requirements and answer any questions you might have about Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management and the services that we provide.

3. Referral to a Wealth Planner or Investment Manager

If you decide to progress with us, you will be referred to one of our Wealth Planners or Investment Managers to discuss your situation and requirements in more detail. They will then design a bespoke proposal detailing a unique investment portfolio that matches your individual requirements and attitude to risk, to meet you and your family’s needs.

4. Working with you long-term

With our wealth planning and investment management professionals, your wealth is in expert hands. Our mission is simple - to help you build your wealth with confidence. We will always keep you informed about your investment portfolio and performance and will continue to work with you to build our relationship on your terms. We can meet with you face-to-face, by phone or by email, whichever is more convenient for you. You can also access your account online at any time through our app. Our wealth management professionals are always readily available to speak with you.


Investment involves risk and you may not get back what you invest. It’s not suitable for everyone.

Investment involves risk and is not suitable for everyone.