A personal pension plan is a very tax-efficient investment designed to help you save money for your retirement. There are limits to how much you can invest each year, and over your lifetime, but these are more than sufficient for most people. You can access your money, some of it tax-free, from age 55. For many people, a pension is one of the best ways to save money for the future.
You won’t be able to keep working forever so planning for your retirement is essential. Personal pension plans are an ideal for this type of planning. They come with generous tax advantages when you put money in, and you can take up to 25% of the money tax-free when you take it out. Death benefits are also very flexible. There are a wide variety of providers and investments available. You can even take control of your investments personally. Most employees are now automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, but you can still take out a personal pension, or consolidate older plans into a new contract.
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Pensions come with generous tax benefits.
Contributions attract tax-relief, so the tax you paid on your income is added to your personal contributions. You can take up to 25% of your fund tax-free when you retire.
Your pension fund can also be passed to your dependents (although a variety of tax rules may apply at this time depending on your circumstances)
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If you have an employer you may already be in a Workplace Pension. If one is available but you have not yet joined or opted out, make sure you have considered the real costs – both for today and for tomorrow – of your decision.
When it comes time to use your pension to provide an income how will you do it? What is important to you?
In exchange for a lump sum payment, annuities can offer an income guaranteed for the rest of your life.
Income Drawdown allows you to take your income when and how you want with no limits on how much you can take.
Your money stays invested which can bring with it investment risk but also the potential for further growth.
Click here for Workplace Pensions
Click here for Annuities
Click here for Income Drawdown
All pensions provide tax-relief on contributions. This means the tax you would have paid on earned income is added back into your plan. If you pay £100 from your bank account, £125 is added to your pension. (based on current tax rates). Higher-rate taxpayers can claim the difference in their tax return.
Many employers provide workplace pension plans, but these may provide limited options. A personal pension plan gives you the widest possible choice. (Note that employer contrbutions to a workplace pension are valuable, so be careful not to give these up without a good reason.)
Annuities used to be the only option when you retired. Now, you can take any or all of your benefits in the best way to suit you, so you can maximise your options and minimise the tax you pay.
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A personal pension plan provides the best combination of accesbility, price, flexibility, investment choice and tax benefits.
Take a lump sum from your plan tax-free
When you take the benefits from your plan, you are entitled to 25% of it tax-free. This is called the Pension Commencement Lump Sum, or PCLS. You can take this all in one go, or spread it out over time to minimise your income tax.
Access on your terms
When you retire, you can take your money in the way that suits you. It could be regular monthly income, or ad hoc payments whenever you need cash. Careful use of your PCLS can reduce your income tax too.
Benefit from long-term compound returns
You can’t access your pension before age 55, which makes it an ideal way to invest for the long-term because you can’t be tempted to get at your savings early. So be careful when you invest in a pension. It’s important to save for tomorrow but you also have to pay for today.
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