Your Pension Options

Second Pension

You can build up a second pension (on top of your basic State Pension) through the state, or by a private arrangement of some kind.

Additional State Pension (SERPS and State Second Pension)

  • The additional State Pension was normally called the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) until 6 April 200SERPS was based on your record of National Insurance contributions and your level of earnings as an employee. The additional State Pension you can build up from 6 April 2002 is called the State Second Pension. The State Second Pension reforms SERPS to provide a more generous additional State Pension for low and moderate earners, and certain carers and people with a long-term illness or disability whose working lives have been interrupted or shortened.

Private pensions

There are a number of different private pension options for you to consider:

  • Occupational pensions – set up by employers for their employees.
  • Stakeholder pensions – these are low-charge, flexible pensions. Since April 2001, most employers must provide their employees with access to a stakeholder pension. If your employer is exempt, or you want to get your own stakeholder pension, you can also get them from a range of financial services companies and other organisations, such as trade unions.
  • Personal pensions – you usually get these from financial services companies, such as insurance companies, banks, investment companies and building societies.
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