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Occupational and personal pensions

Updating author: Kate Upcraft

Summary

  • Employers often offer employees membership of an occupational pension scheme, which may be contributory or non-contributory. Subject to the auto-enrolment provisions, employers must not attempt to compel employees to become members of a scheme, although membership can be automatic unless the employee requests in writing to opt out. (See Occupational pensions - overview)
  • Trustees oversee the operation of occupational pension schemes. (See Occupational pensions - overview)
  • Tax relief is available on pension contributions and savings, subject to key controls. (See Registered pension schemes and taxation)
  • Since 6 April 2015, pension scheme members aged 55 and over have had more flexibility than previously, in how and when they can access their defined-contribution pension savings. (See Flexibility in defined-contribution pension schemes and taxation)
  • Individuals may be a member of more than one pension scheme. (See Occupational pensions and scheme membership)
  • Individuals may choose to invest in a personal pension plan to supplement, or because they do not have access to, occupational pension provision. Employers may offer personal pensions to employees on a group basis. This can be easier to administer than an occupational pension scheme as trustees are not required. (See Personal pensions)
  • From 8 October 2001 to 30 September 2012, many employers were required to give employees access to a stakeholder pension scheme. The requirement to designate a stakeholder pension was removed from 1 October 2012 with the introduction of pensions auto-enrolment. (See Stakeholder pensions)

Sector resources

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