A stakeholder pension is one of the simplest ways of investing for your retirement and making the most of the tax benefits that a pension brings. With several other types of pension plan to choose from, here are some guidelines to help you decide whether a stakeholder pension is the right plan for you.
Are you eligible for a stakeholder pension?
To be eligible for a Stakeholder Pension you need to be under 75 years of age and resident in the UK. You’re classed as ’resident’ if you live in the UK all or most of the time – if you’re not sure, you can ask your local tax office. You may also be eligible if either you or your spouse/civil partner works overseas for the UK Government.
It may be the right pension plan for you if:
- You want the flexibility to stop, start or change your payments as often as you like, with no penalties.
- You want a low minimum payment – just £20
- You want to benefit from low charges – a maximum of 0.55% of the fund value each year, which covers the cost of plan administration and looking after your investments.
- You want the benefit of tax relief on your pension payments. But remember that future changes in law and tax practice could affect your tax liability.
- You want access to a carefully selected choice of investment funds with the potential to grow your pension pot, but you accept that the value of your pension pot may be less than has been paid in.
- You’re looking for some flexibility with your options at retirement, such as choosing whether you retire gradually or outright.
- You want to start a pension plan for your children or grandchildren.
It may not be the right pension plan for you if:
- You’re looking for even wider investment options.
- You might need to access your money before you are age 55.
- You don't want to accept any risk of your investment falling in value.
- Your employer has a company pension scheme that you are able to join. If so, you should always consider your employer’s scheme first and discuss this with a financial adviser.
What's the next step?
The first step is to talk it through with a financial adviser to make sure it's the right pension plan for you. If you don't have an adviser, you can find one in your area at unbiased.co.uk.
If you and your adviser agree that an Aviva Stakeholder Pension is right for you, your adviser will provide you with all the information you'll need to apply. This will include:
- A key features document, which explains the aims and risks of the plan and answers some frequently asked questions.
- A personal illustration, which gives you an estimate of what your investment in the pension plan may be worth at your chosen retirement age.
- An application form, which should take just a few minutes to complete.