Quick guide to pensions and retirement planning

Pensions and retirement planning are a complicated matter. Financial support, tax, pension credit, state pensions, company pensions, personal pensions... there is certainly a lot to think about. In this guide, we aim to breakdown the information you need and offer some advice and guidance on planning your finances for retirement.

State Pensions

The state pension is paid to all eligible claimants over the state pension age. The state pension age is currently 65, but it is likely to change in the near future. There are two types of state pension: basic state pension - which is paid to people who have the paid National Insurance for the required number of qualifying years - and additional state pension - which you may be entitled to if you are employed, looking after children or a carer.

Personal Pensions

Personal pension plans are typically available from banks and building societies. You can save as much as you like and will get tax relief up to the annual allowance.

Company Pensions

Company pensions are set up by employers. Contributions are often made out of your salary and are eligible for tax relief. Your employer may also pay into the fund.

Stakeholder Pensions

Stakeholder pensions are a type of personal pension that are managed on your behalf in accordance with certain legal standards.

Pension Credit

If you are on a low income in retirement, you may be eligible to a number of pension credits. These include a guarantee credit and a savings credit. How much you are entitled to depends on your circumstances.

Benefits in retirement

In addition to the state pension and pension credits, you may qualify for one or more age related benefits. These include the Cold Weather Payment, the Winter Fuel Payment, the Warm Home Discount Scheme, Veterans' benefits and pensions (for veterans and their families) and interest-free Crisis Loans to help with emergencies.

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