Personal pensions are a type of defined contribution pension scheme. They are individual contracts between you and the pension provider and are set up by you, the member. The pension provider is often an insurance company, although there are also a number of independent providers.
You can have a personal pension if you’re employed, self-employed or not working. If you’re employed, your employer can also contribute to your personal pension.
Other people are also able to contribute, and you can contribute to other people’s personal pensions. For example, you could contribute to your spouse’s or partner’s personal pension, or even to a child’s personal pension to allow them to start building up retirement benefits from an early age.
There are no restrictions on the number of different pension schemes that you can belong to, although there are limits on the total amounts that can be contributed across all schemes each year, if you’re to receive tax relief on contributions.
This means you can have a personal pension to provide additional retirement benefits, even if you’re a member of a workplace pension scheme. Most personal pensions are flexible and portable. If you change jobs, or stop working, you can normally continue contributing to a scheme.
The value of pensions and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.
Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.
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