Your Pension Options

Keep An Eye On Your Pension Arrangements

You will need to keep an eye on your pension arrangements regularly to make sure you will have the income you want when you retire. If you become better off, you may want to pay in more to build up your pension. When you review your pension and decide you want to increase it, you can do one of the following.

  • If you are in an occupational pension scheme, you may be able to pay more contributions. These are usually called additional voluntary contributions (AVCs).
  • You can also pay AVCs to another scheme provider (these are called free-standing AVCs or FSAVCs). The charges for FSAVCs are often higher than paying AVCs through your own occupational scheme, so check this.
  • If you are a member of an occupational pension scheme, new tax rules mean that you could use a stakeholder pension of a personal pension to build up an extra pension. You should check with your occupational pension scheme to find out if you can do this.
  • If you have a stakeholder pension or a personal pension, you can increase your contributions or you can get another policy (but check what the charges are in each case).

In all cases, you should speak to your pension provider to see what charges are involved. You also need to think about the other available options before you decide to go ahead.

Pensions for the self-employed

If you are self-employed, it is especially important that you think carefully about how to provide for your retirement. You ‘re not included in the additional State Pension (State Second Pension) and you have no employer to provide you with an occupational scheme. If you want more than the basic State Pension, you can join a private pension scheme.

There are many private pension schemes available, but you need to get all the facts first. For example, you should ask what would happen if you couldn’t keep up payments, and if it would be better to pay in lump sums and less often.

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