Pension Plans

What is a pension plan?

A pension isn’t just for old people. A pension is basically quite simple. It’s a tax efficient pot of money that you, your employer and usually, the Government, pay into as a way of building up a large fund for your retirement. When you retire you can either take money out of your pension or sell the fund to an insurance company for a regular income until you die. This is called an annuity. The 2014 Budget now allows you to access your pension from age 55 when you can take as little or as much of your pension as you like, whenever you like, subject to tax rules.

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    are a way for individuals to build up their own individual pension funds. Those with relevant earnings can contribute a gross amount up to the greater of £3,600 per year or their annual income. If you don’t have an income (and this includes children) you are limited to £3,600 gross. Personal Pension and Stakeholder Pension contributions are paid net of basic rate tax. Higher and additional rate taxpayers can reclaim their higher rate of tax relief through their self-assessment return.

    are a flexible, low cost personal pension. They are subject to the same basic rules as Personal pensions but have specific rules regarding charges, access and terms. This is called CAT standard. Personal and Stakeholder pensions can receive transfer payments from previously built up pension schemes.

    are a Personal Pension where you can make direct payments into a wider range of investments than those usually offered by Personal Pensions such as commercial property.

    Has rules which mean that if you’re an employee, your employer is forced to provide you with a pension scheme. By 2018 all employers musty have set up Auto-Enrolment schemes to which they must contribute to their employees’ pensions. You can say ‘no’ to your employers scheme if you do not wish to join. However, you have to opt-out rather than opt-in, so if you do nothing, you’ll be automatically enrolled.