Pensions explained

A great way to save for your retirement

A personal pension is simply a way of saving money for your future retirement.

Pensions have one very important advantage - they're incentivised by the taxman. In fact, the taxman is very generous when it comes to personal pensions, adding to your pension every time you pay money in.

Every £80 you pay in is topped up to £100, giving your savings an immediate boost of 25%. And higher rate taxpayers can get even more.

How the taxman gives the money you pay in a 25% boost

Please remember, tax benefits depend on individual circumstances and may change in the future and the earliest you can currently take your pension is your 55th birthday (57th birthday from 2028).

Investments can go down as well as up and there is no guarantee you will get back all you invest.

Pensions explained

Who can invest in a personal pension?

You can get a personal pension whether you're employed, self-employed or out of work as long as you are:

  • 16 or over
  • A UK resident
  • Happy to leave your money invested until you're 55 or older (57 from 2028)

If you want to retire on more than the state pension but don't have a company pension at work, a personal pension could be a great option.

Pensions explained

Taking your pension benefits

Firstly you can't get your hands on your pension until you're at least 55 years old (57 years old from 2028), which is good because it gives you time to build up a bigger pension, without the temptation to dip into your savings.

When you take your benefits you can normally choose to take up to a quarter of your benefits as a tax-free cash sum.

You'll need to use the rest of the money you've saved in your pension to provide you with an income in retirement, such as an annuity. An annuity is a product that guarantees to pay you a regular income for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live.

Please remember, the amount of income provided by your pension will depend on a number of factors, including investment returns and annuity rates when you retire.

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