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What is a pension?

Video transcript


 What is a pension?


Pensions are plans which you can invest in and allow you to build up a sum of money, sometimes called a ‘pension pot’.

You can use this to provide yourself with an income once you’re retired or semi retired.

You may also get contributions from the government, this is called tax relief.

There are workplace pensions, paid by your employer and yourself.

There’s the state pension paid out by the government.

Or you can pay into an individual pension yourself.

The value of personal or workplace pensions are not guaranteed. You could get back less than you paid in.


Types of pension

Video transcript

Types of pension


There are three main types of pensions:

Workplace pensions are arranged through your employer.

With most schemes, both you and your employer pay in.

Your contributions will normally be deducted from your salary.

With individual pensions you pay in regularly and/or make one-off payments.

You will be entitled to a State Pension when you reach State Pension age and if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions.

The value of personal or workplace pensions are not guaranteed. You could get back less than paid in.


State Pensions explained

Video transcript

State pensions explained


A State Pension is a regular payment you can get from the government when you reach State Pension age.

Your age, gender and National Insurance record will affect the amount you’ll get and when you will be eligible to start receiving it.

To get it, you must have paid or been credited with sufficient National Insurance contributions.




How much is the State Pension?

Video transcript

How much is a state pension?



Full State Pension is a set amount each year.

It’s a bit like one of our jackets, it’s not one size fits all.

It’s dependent on your age, your gender and your National Insurance record.

But the easiest way to find out what yours will be is to go to


What age can I retire?

Video transcript

What age can I retire?


There is no compulsory age to retire – you can retire as early or late as you like.

You can start to access your individual and workplace pensions from 55 years [old – omitted].

The state pension starting age varies from 63 to 68, depending on when you were born.

How can I retire early?

Video transcript

How can I retire early?


If you want to retire early, you can start accessing an income from a Workplace or Individual Pension, usually from the age of 55.

You can also keep working after accessing your pension to supplement your income.

How much you’ll need when you retire depends on your outgoings, so it’s good to check to see how much you may get, ahead of time, so you have enough to live on.

What is an annuity?

Video transcript

What is an annuity?


An annuity is a retirement income plan bought with your pension pot.

It’s designed to provide you a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life.

The amount of income you’ll get for a given lump sum will depend on your age, health, lifestyle and type of annuity. 

Annuity or lump sum?

Video transcript

Annuity or Lump Sum?


When you retire, you could withdraw all your pension – however, you could receive a large tax bill.

You could purchase an annuity where the income is taxable.

Or another option is to take up to 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum, and to purchase an annuity with the rest.


Finally, you could leave it invested and take money as and when needed. But like these lifts, the value of pensions can go up as well as down. 

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