Key features of the Dodl pension
- What's this about?
- How the Dodl pension works
- Dodl pension aims
- Your commitment
- The risks
- Questions and answers
- Important notes
What’s this about?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial services regulator, and AJ Bell Management Limited is the Dodl pension provider. The FCA asks that AJ Bell Management gives you the most important details of the Dodl pension in one place - here, in the key features - to help you decide if it's right for you.
Read the key features carefully so that you understand everything you need to about the account before opening it. You can come back and remind yourself of them whenever you need to.
Though they're important, they needn’t be scary! If there are any features you don’t quite understand or need more details on, chat to Team Dodl in the app or email them at email@example.com – it’s what they’re here for.
How the Dodl pension works
Every step of your pension journey can be quick and easy with the Dodl app. But help is on hand should you ever need it, with the team just a message away.
Open your Dodl pension
Add cash to it (you'll get tax relief from HMRC!) and/or transfer in an existing pension
Invest your pension savings in a straightforward choice of funds, themes and shares
Dodl pension aims
- For you to save towards your retirement through one-off or monthly payments to your pension, which you’ll also get tax relief on.
- To give you the opportunity to grow your pension savings by investing them, with any growth and income from your investments being tax-free.
- To give you the option to transfer any existing pensions you may have into your Dodl pension.
- For you to choose your own investments for your pension - you can choose anything from Dodl’s straightforward range of funds, themes and shares, including the pension builder fund.
- The pension builder fund is a standard, low-cost option for those who might need a helping hand getting started when investing in their pension. It isn’t tailored to your circumstances and won't be right for everyone.
- When the time is right, to give you the freedom to choose which pension provider you want to transfer to for you to withdraw your pension savings.
- Before opening a pension, you’ll need to understand its features, benefits and risks - to check it’s what you expect and need.
- You’ll decide and manage how your pension is invested.
- You’ll make sure any one-off or regular payments you make to your pension won’t exceed your yearly pension contribution allowance.
- To make sure you’re saving enough to meet your needs in retirement.
- When the time is right, you’ll decide which provider you want to withdraw your pension savings with, so that Dodl can transfer your pension to them.
- You understand and agree to the Dodl pension scheme rules, terms and conditions and charges, which may change in future.
Go in with your eyes open. Some risks to know about before opening a Dodl pension.
When paying into your Dodl pension
- How much you pay into your pension will affect its value at your retirement. If you delay paying into your pension, your savings and investment growth may be lower as a result.
- Rules on the tax relief you receive for the payments you make into your pension may change in future, as can the rules on the way you take your pension income at retirement.
When transferring another pension into your Dodl pension
- You could be giving up certain guarantees and benefits linked to your other pension. It’s important to check this before you transfer.
- Your existing provider may apply a penalty, or they could reduce the value of your pension for transferring out. Again, important to check this with them before transferring.
- If you’re transferring a current workplace pension into your Dodl pension, you’ll lose out on the benefit of future employer contributions.
When investing within your Dodl pension
- Investments should be held for the long term, as their value, and any income they make can go down as well as up. And you could get back less than the amount you originally invest.
- The past performance of your investments doesn’t predict how they'll perform in future. This means there are no guarantees over how much your pension will be worth when you reach retirement age.
- Tax rules relating to the investments you hold in your pension may change in the future.
- Your investment returns may be lower, and the charges may be higher, than shown on any pension illustrations you receive.
- Dodl doesn’t offer investment advice. But you’ll find plenty of information about your investment options in the app or at dodl.co.uk. This information is there to help you make your own choices but mustn’t be treated as a recommendation or advice.
- The pension builder fund we offer isn't tailored to your individual needs or aims and isn’t a personal recommendation for your investments. You may want to talk to a suitable financial adviser who can help you choose investments which are tailored to you.
What else should I consider?
- There may be other risk factors beyond your control which could affect your pension value. These include the tax relief available, inflation, interest rates, annuity rates (if you decide to take an annuity at retirement), and charges.
- It's not currently possible to access your pension with Dodl. So when you reach the pension age (currently 55, but increasing to 57 from 2028) and want to start taking money out of your pension, you'll be able to transfer it for free to another provider that allows you to do this.
- When you reach pension age, you can take 25% of your pension value out without paying any income tax on it, with the rest taxed as earned income. This is based on current pension and tax rules, which may change in future.
- A stakeholder pension is another type of pension you could consider instead of a Dodl pension, and it could meet your needs at least as well. Dodl doesn’t offer stakeholder pensions but they’re widely available with other pension providers.
If you ever feel unsure about the risks involved with a pension, or which type is right for you, you should talk to a financial adviser. It’s also worth checking out MoneyHelper, the government's free money guidance service.
Questions and answers
Before opening a Dodl pension
What’s a pension?
A pension is a type of investment account which allows you to save and invest towards your retirement.
Pensions come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all have special tax benefits in common. When you pay into a pension (known as 'contributing') the government rewards you for your prudence with something known as tax relief – basically a top up on your payments. And on top of tax relief, investments held in a pension are protected from tax. They can grow and earn income, and you don’t have to pay a penny of this to HMRC.
Because they’re meant for your retirement, you can only start to withdraw your pension savings after you reach the minimum pension age of 55 (rising to 57 from 2028).
Could a pension be right for me?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I want to invest towards my retirement goals and maximise my income for when I retire?
- Am I looking to build an investment portfolio (protected from UK capital gains and income tax) to potentially grow my pension savings?
- Do I understand that investment growth isn’t guaranteed?
- Do I want to choose my investments from a straightforward range of funds, themes and shares, and manage these easily through an app?
If you answered ‘yes’ to every question, then the Dodl pension could be right for you. These key features should give you all the details you need to decide, but if you still feel unsure, you should speak to a financial adviser about this.
Can I open a pension with Dodl?
You can open a pension if you’re age 18 or over. You’ll also need to be a UK resident and solely a UK citizen.
What are the charges?
You'll pay the Dodl account charge for your pension
How much is it?
How is it calculated and collected?
0.15% a year (min £1 a month)
The charge is calculated based on the total value of the investments in your pension, and it’s collected in monthly instalments from your available cash.
Quick example of how the Dodl account charge works
For a Dodl pension with an investment value of £10,000, you’d pay:
0.15% of £10,000 over the course of the year – that’s £15 overall, taken in instalments of £1.25 a month. Just remember the minimum account charge is £1 a month (or £12 per year).
You can calculate what your Dodl account charge may look like using our handy charges calculator.
Any other charges?
Though there are no dealing charges when you buy/sell your investments (including when your monthly investments are bought), there will be investment charges paid separately to your Dodl account charge. These include fund ongoing charges, stamp duty for UK shares and foreign exchange charges for US shares. Find out more about these charges.
What about interest?
Currently you earn 0% interest from cash held in your pension. That’s why it’s important to invest your cash as soon as possible. Though remember to leave a small amount of cash uninvested, to cover your account charge each month.
A little more info about interest: Banks do pay AJ Bell for the total money held with them for all AJ Bell customers, including Dodl customers. The amount a bank pays varies, depending on the total cash held with them and the market interest rates. For now, AJ Bell expects these payments to be between 1.15% below and 0.15% above the current Bank of England base rate – but it could be higher or lower if interest rates are changeable. These payments are kept by AJ Bell to help keep your Dodl charges low.
What other terms and conditions apply?
The Dodl pension terms and conditions and those of the Dodl app are included in the full terms and conditions. The Dodl pension is also governed by a trust deed and rules.
Can Dodl offer me advice?
Dodl can’t offer you advice and isn’t authorised to give advice on tax, investments, or any other money matter. If you think you might need advice, you should contact a suitably qualified financial adviser - who should also let you know about the cost of advice.
If you decide to look for an adviser, moneyhelper.org.uk is a good place to start.
Paying into your Dodl pension
Who can pay into my pension?
Only you can make payments in (‘contributions’) to your pension, and they’ll need to come from your personal UK bank account (or joint account). It’s not possible for your employer or anyone else to contribute.
You can continue to pay into your pension until you turn 75.
What is the minimum amount I can pay into my pension?
To get started with a one-off payment to your pension, you'll need to add a minimum of £100. If you're setting up a direct debit to automate adding cash to your account every month, that's a minimum of just £25.
What is the maximum amount I can pay into my pension?
The maximum total amount you can pay in (‘contribute’) to all your pensions each tax year is usually the same as your yearly earnings. You’ll also receive tax relief (a generous HMRC top-up) on the amount you contribute.
For example: If you earn £30,000, you can pay up to £30,000 into your pension in the tax year. Of this, £24,000 will be your own money, and HMRC will top this up with basic-rate (20%) tax relief of £6,000.
If you’re a UK resident and don’t have any earnings, you can still contribute up to £3,600, including tax relief, to your pension. This would be £2,880 of your own money, and £720 added by HMRC at basic-rate (20%) tax relief.
The pension annual allowance also applies. For most people this is £60,000, so if you earn more than that you won’t be able to pay in more than £60,000 to your pensions without getting tax charges from HMRC.
However, here’s where it can get a bit complicated! If you have income over £260,000, or you’ve already taken money out of another pension, your annual allowance may be less than £60,000. But if you didn’t use all your annual allowance in the last three tax years, it may be more than £60,000.
Tax rules can change in the future, and other factors may affect how much you can pay into your pension. If you’re a high earner, or looking to make significant contributions, it may be best to speak to a qualified financial adviser first.
Again, moneyhelper.org.uk offers helpful guidance on paying into your pension and your allowances.
How can I pay into my pension?
You can make quick one-off payments to your pension at any time in the Dodl app using Google/Apple Pay or your debit card. Or set up a direct debit to add cash, automatically, at the start of every month. You can edit or cancel your direct debit at any time in the app too.
Will I get tax relief on my payments?
Because saving into your pension is so important the government gives you tax relief on your contributions, up to those limits mentioned above. You don’t need to do anything to receive basic-rate (20%) tax relief – Dodl will claim it on your behalf and pay it directly into your pension. For example, if you pay in £80, Dodl will claim £20 tax relief from HMRC.
Dodl makes claims in bulk to HMRC, so you won’t see your tax relief arrive in your pension straight away, but it’ll arrive within 6-11 weeks of your payment.
If you're a higher-rate or additional-rate taxpayer, meaning you’re entitled to extra tax relief on top, you'll have to apply for it through your self-assessment tax return.
Transferring into or out of your Dodl pension
Can I transfer another pension into my Dodl pension?
You can transfer most UK pensions into your Dodl pension. But there are a few pensions which can’t be transferred to Dodl, these include:
- pensions with a guaranteed income at retirement (usually called ‘final salary’ or ‘defined benefit’ pensions, you may come across them in the public sector and some older workplace pension schemes)
- pensions which you’ve already taken money out of (sometimes called a pension ‘in drawdown’)
- pensions which are subject to a court order e.g. a divorce pension sharing order
How do I transfer another pension into my Dodl pension?
You’ll need to have opened your Dodl pension first, then head to ‘transfer an account’ in the app, where you’ll give all the details of the pension you want to transfer and how you’d like to transfer it.
You can choose to transfer your pension as cash or, if it has investments which are in the Dodl investment range, these may be transferred as they are - so you can keep hold of them.
Once you’ve submitted your transfer details, Team Dodl will handle everything else and let you know if there are any hiccups.
What should I consider before transferring?
Before you transfer to Dodl, you’ll need to be sure that it’s the right choice for you. To help you decide this, make some checks to see how your existing pension compares to a Dodl pension.
- how your existing provider and Dodl compare on charges, investment options and how you can manage your pension e.g. in-app or online.
- if you’ll lose out on any valuable benefits by transferring out of your existing pension (if you’re not sure, it’s worth contacting your existing provider to check this).
- if you’ll be charged or incur a penalty with your existing provider for transferring your pension (again, best to ask them if you’re not sure).
- if you have to sell your pension’s investments with your existing provider before transferring it as cash to Dodl. If you will, and before you reinvest your pension with Dodl, its value won’t rise or fall with market ups and downs.
If you’re ever unsure about transferring, it’s best to talk to a suitably qualified financial adviser before starting your transfer.
Can I transfer my Dodl pension to another pension?
You can transfer your Dodl pension to another provider at any time. You can transfer it as cash and/or investments. If you want to transfer your investments, you’ll need to check your new pension provider can accept these.
Investing within your Dodl pension
What can I invest in?
Choosing investments can be scary. That’s why Dodl doesn’t overcomplicate things. You can pick from a straightforward range of funds, themes and shares, designed to make investing easier. That includes:
- AJ Bell funds – built and balanced by the experts at AJ Bell to make investing as simple as possible, including the pension builder fund. Just choose the risk level which suits you, then you’re away.
- Themed investments – build an investment portfolio with funds which reflect your values. Invest in the trends you believe in, including specific sectors and regions, or responsible investments.
- Shares – own a portion of a big-name brand by investing directly in a UK or US company.
You can browse the investment range on the website to view your options in more detail.
How do I invest?
First you need to choose:
- What you want to invest in? Dodl offers a streamlined range of funds, themes and shares to keep things straightforward.
- How much you want to invest? If you invest in shares, it'll need to be enough to buy at least one (Dodl doesn't offer fractional shares).
- How often you want to invest? You can invest on a one-off basis or automate your investing journey with monthly investments.
Choices made, you're ready to place your order in the app. As you're doing this, read and make sure you're completely happy with your investment details, including all charges. If you are, you can go ahead and submit your order.
Once you’ve submitted your order, Dodl will handle the rest. Orders are processed once a working day and the daily cut-off time for submitting them is usually 3pm. If your order's submitted after this, it'll be processed the next working day.
After your investment has gone through, a contract note (like an order receipt) is sent to your account. Shares will usually arrive in your account shortly after this, but funds can take a little longer – usually around 2-3 working days later.
How are the investments in my pension protected from tax?
Any returns you make from your investments will be protected from UK capital gains and income tax while held in your pension.
Just be aware that pensions are tax-efficient but not tax-free: when you reach retirement age and start taking an income from your pension, you'll pay income tax on this at your standard tax rate.
Keep an eye on tax and pension rules as these may change in future.
How do I get a valuation of my pension?
Just log in and view your pension account. You’ll be able to see how each investment in your portfolio is doing and the overall value of it. You’ll also get quarterly statements for your pension in the app.
Withdrawing cash from your Dodl pension
Can I withdraw cash from my pension?
It’s not currently possible to withdraw cash from your pension unless you’re terminally ill. Your pension is designed for growing your pension savings only. When you reach the pension age (currently 55, but 57 from 2028) and you want to start withdrawing your Dodl pension, you’ll be able to transfer it to another provider that allows you to access it.
Depending on the provider you choose to transfer your pension to, you’ll usually have the option to take your pension in the form of a tax-free lump sum, of up to 25% of your pension value, and/or to take an income from your pension or buy an annuity (which’ll provide you with regular income). When you start taking an income from your pension, this’ll be taxed as earned income. The rules on when and how you can take money out of your pension could change by the time you reach pension age.
What happens to my pension if I die?
In most cases, your pension will be transferred to your chosen beneficiary/ies (you fill those in when you open your Dodl pension). It’s rare for your wishes not to be followed, but Dodl does have some discretion over who receives your pension in the event of your death. For example, if there’s been a change in your family circumstances, such as a divorce, after you’ve named your beneficiaries. You can update your beneficiaries at any time, by contacting Team Dodl.
If you die before the age of 75, payments to your beneficiaries (whether a lump sum or pension) will normally be tax free. Lump sums paid on death are normally free of any inheritance tax, but this isn’t guaranteed.
Other important questions
How safe is it to hold my cash and investments with Dodl?
Dodl is part of AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest investment platforms with 490,000 customers who trust AJ Bell to keep their investments and cash safe. They’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which means that the products and services AJ Bell offer, including your Dodl pension, are under constant review to ensure you and your cash and investments are kept safe.
You’ll also be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS provides an additional layer of cover for customers of FCA authorised firms and will provide compensation if a claim made against an authorised firm can’t be met.
For any cash you hold in your Dodl pension, this’ll be protected by the FSCS up to a maximum of £85,000. For your investments, if a fund manager were to go bust and you lost money as a result, you would also be covered by the FSCS up to a maximum of £85,000. But shares aren’t covered, and if a fund failed due to poor performance, that wouldn’t be covered either.
You can find more information about the FSCS compensation arrangements at fscs.org.uk.
What if I change my mind?
You can cancel your pension application within 30 days of receiving your pension welcome email from Dodl. By cancelling your application, you’ll have any payments you’ve made returned to your bank account and your pension will then be closed. You can also cancel any transfers into your pension, again, as long as you do this within 30 days of the team letting you know your transfer is complete.
If you invest within the 30-day cancellation period of opening your pension or transferring into it, you won’t be able to cancel. If you really don’t want to keep your pension, you can always transfer your cash and investments to a different provider at any time. Just contact the team to ask about this.
To cancel either your pension application or a transfer, you’ll just need to contact the team, either in the app or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let them know what you want to cancel.
How do I complain?
If you ever need to complain about the service you receive from Dodl, then the first thing to do is to contact Team Dodl – they’ll try their best to help you with this. You can contact them in the app or via email at email@example.com.
If you don’t feel satisfied with Dodl’s final response to your complaint, you can refer it to the relevant Ombudsman, free of charge. But before you do, help is also available from MoneyHelper, who can advise you on how to complain and may be able to help resolve the matter without involving the Ombudsman. The contact details for MoneyHelper, The Pensions Ombudsman and Financial Ombudsman Service are below.
0300 123 1047
For a complaint about the administration of your Dodl pension specifically, you can refer your complaint to:
The Pensions Ombudsman
10 South Colonnade
020 7630 2200
All other complaints can be referred to the:
Financial Ombudsman Service
0300 123 9123
The information in this key features document is provided based on our understanding of current law, practice and taxation which may be subject to change.
Full details of the legally binding contract between you and Dodl are included in the Dodl terms and conditions, which can be viewed from the Dodl app or website anytime.
The law of England and Wales will apply in all legal disputes.
If you’d like a copy of this or any other document in large print, Braille or in audio format, the team will be happy to arrange this for you. Just contact them in the app or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Dodl documents and any future communication to you will be in English.