A pension is a form of investment or savings plan designed to provide you with an income to live on when you retire. There are many different types of pension arrangements available, including the state pension.
Defined Contribution (DC) Pensions
Defined contribution pensions build up a pension pot using your contributions and your employer's contributions (if applicable) plus investment returns and tax relief.
Pension Freedom April 2015
Since 6th April 2015, those with defined contribution pensions who are at least 55 still have the option to take a tax free lump sum and a lifetime annuity. However there are now more options to consider in providing an income.
The minimum pension age will be increased from 55 to 57 in 2028.
Defined Benefit and Final Salary Pensions
A final salary scheme is a type of defined benefit scheme. Final salary pension schemes pay you a pension at retirement that can depend on certain factors including length of service and final salary.
The State Pension
The State Pension is a regular payment from the government when you reach the State Pension. You'll usually need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension. They don't have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.Find out More »
A personal pension is one way you might choose to save for your retirement. Personal pensions can also be called money purchase pensions or defined contribution (DC) schemes. They may be suitable for you if you are working but are not eligible for automatic enrolment into your employer's pension scheme, you're self employed or you're not currently in employment.
These are a type of personal pension but they have to meet some minimum standards set by the government. Stakeholder Pension plans are similar to Personal Pension plans in that you can take them with you if you change jobs.
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SIPP and SSAS
Self Invested Personal Pensions and Small Self Administered Schemes. The aim of SIPP and SSAS schemes is to provide benefits for retirement, death, attaining a particular age or in the event of serious ill-health, incapacity or similar circumstances. Both are member-directed pensions.
This type of pension can be particularly useful to businesses. They may enable purchase of a commercial property, either as a direct investment or providing your own premises. In certain instances a scheme can also lend money to your company (there are restrictions on how and what this can be used for). These are just some options for using accumulated pension funds without necessarily drawing benefits and paying tax.
Workplace Pensions and Automatic Enrolment
Between October 2012 and February 2018 employers are now having to offer workplace pensions. This is called automatic enrolment. Your employer must enrol you into their workplace pension if you are an eligible employee.
Auto Enrolment is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
A pension is a long term investment, the fund may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax leglisation.