New to pensions?

Understanding the basics

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A pension is about securing your future by providing yourself with enough money when you retire.
Save it now, enjoy it later.

Why save into a pension?

  • Money you wouldn’t normally get
    Payments that you make into your pension attract tax relief, and your pension fund grows largely tax-free. This boosts the financial benefits of contributing to your pension plan. It all amounts to extra money that goes into your plan that you wouldn't normally get. The only thing to consider is the limits on the amount you can pay in.
    You can find out more about tax relief and your allowances on gov.uk (We’re not responsible for the content of other websites).
  • Money from your employer
    If you’re a member of your company’s pension scheme, your employer may also pay in and might match any payments you make.
    Check your plan documents for more details
  • Money you can’t touch!
    As a rule, you can’t access your pension pot until you’re 55 (unless ill-health stops you from working). At least you can’t be tempted to dip in to your savings!

Dreaming about the perfect retirement is one thing, making it happen is another.

Find out if you’re saving enough for a future you’ll love.



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How does it work?

You can either pay in regular payments or add one-off lump sums such as bonuses when you can (or both!)
The taxman gives you tax relief on what you pay in, and your employer might pay in too.

All the money’s invested. But remember, all investments carry some risk and can go down in value, which will affect the value of your retirement savings.
There are limits on how much you can save, and there could also be tax consequences – you can visit the Gov.uk website for more information.
(We're not responsible for the content of other websites)



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The taxman gives you tax relief on what you pay in, and your employer might pay in too. Most people get 20% tax relief on their payments, which is automatically added to their plan.
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If you're a higher or additional rate taxpayer, you could get an extra 20% or 25% tax relief. Depending on your pension scheme, you might have to claim this back through your tax return.
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All the money’s invested. But remember, all investments carry some risk and can go down in value, which will affect the value of your retirement savings.
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To find out if you’re saving enough for the type of retirement you’re dreaming of, play Picture this.

Any more questions?

One pension or several?

You might find you’ve built up a number of pensions over the course of your working life, especially if you’ve worked for more than one employer. Don’t worry, that’s quite common. You should get yearly statements from your pension providers, giving an up-to-date report on what your savings are worth and what they might pay in retirement.

Why not think about tidying things up and bringing all your pensions under one roof? It could make your retirement planning easier to manage, and might even save you money.

Got a workplace pension with Zurich? Click here to find out more about transferring your pension to the one you have with Zurich.

What happens if I die?

If you die before you’re 75, your pension savings, can usually be passed on as tax-free income or cash sum. If you’re 75 or over when you die, your leftover savings can still be passed on, but they’ll be taxable.

What happens when I retire?

You generally have to wait until 55 before you can start taking your pension. You don’t have to take it then: delaying your retirement gives you more time to build up a healthy pot. When the time is right, you have a number of options:

  • You can buy an annuity, using some or all of your retirement savings to secure a regular taxable income for life.
  • If you want a more flexible taxable income, you can choose ‘drawdown’. This lets you increase or decrease the amount you receive, or take one off withdrawals when you need them. With this option, there’s no guarantee you’ll get an income from the rest of your life.
  • You can take cash lump sums from your retirement savings. You could take the whole lot in one go, or you might be able to take a number of smaller lump sums over a period of time.
  • If you buy an annuity or opt for drawdown, you’ll usually be able to take up to 25% of the amount you’re using as a tax-free lump sum. If you’re just taking a lump sum from your retirement savings, 25% of this will usually be tax free as well, but the rest will be taxed.
  • You can always leave your savings invested until you need them.

Got a workplace pension with Zurich? Find out more about your options on retirement.

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