To provide you with the best possible experience this website uses cookies. For more information please read our cookie policy

Please note that by using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies by Zurich on this and our other UK websites.


What is a pension?

A pension or a retirement savings plan is a long-term investment (ten years or more) that aims to build a fund for your retirement in a tax efficient way. This can be used to provide you with an income when the pay packets stop – your pension.

It works like this –

  • The money you save in a retirement plan is invested.
  • The value of your retirement plan will depend on a number of factors: including when you start saving, how long you save for, how much you save and where your money is invested.
  • The value of a retirement plan isn't guaranteed and its value can go down which may affect the retirement income you can buy in the future.
  • When you retire or reach a certain age (normally from
    age 55 at the earliest), the pot of money you’ve saved is used to provide you with a taxable income in retirement.
    • How much income you’ll get will depend on a number of factors; including the value of your plan, when you decide to take your pension and how you choose to provide your income in retirement.
    • You can also choose to take a tax-free cash payment currently up to 25% of your pension plan. This would reduce the value of your retirement fund and therefore the income you can buy in retirement.

Looking for advice

If you would like help making decisions, please speak to your financial adviser. Bear in mind, you may have to pay for any work an adviser does for you.

Find a financial adviser

If you are looking for an independent financial adviser in your area, visit