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Pension Portfolio

Why you should have a pension

When you think of your retirement, what image do you have in your head? Are you living comfortably or eking out your pension?

Nobody wants to go through retirement penny pinching and worrying about how to pay the next bill.

It's likely that you'll qualify for some level of state pension, but how much and when you'll get it isn't all that straightforward. The state pension has been a hot topic in recent years with successive governments pushing the state pension age ever higher.

To give yourself the best chance of a comfortable retirement, you should really think about starting your own pension as soon as you can.

Three reasons to invest in a pension

  1. Tax relief on your pension payments means extra money in your pension fund.
  2. Your pension fund grows free of income and capital gains tax.
  3. You can take up to 25% as a tax-free cash sum when you retire.

What is Pension Portfolio?

Pension Portfolio is a self-invested personal pension, which gives you:

  • a range of investment and income options
  • a transparent and accessible pension
  • the flexibility to deal with changing lifestyles.

With Pension Portfolio, you can choose between three different investment levels:

  • Core - Offers our core range of over 100 funds and is likely to appeal to you if you have straightforward investment needs.
  • Choice - Offers our full range of over 2,300 funds and is likely to appeal to you if you have specific fund preferences.
  • Flex - Offers our full range of over 2,300 funds plus access to the full range of investments and is likely to appeal to you if you are an experienced and involved investor.

How does Pension Portfolio work?

With Pension Portfolio, you choose how much you want to invest and where you want to invest your money.

Here are some basic details about investing in Pension Portfolio:

Payments

You can invest money regularly or make one-off payments as and when you want.

If you plan on making regular payments, you can invest from £100 a month. Alongside your monthly payments, you can make a single payment or transfer in other pensions worth £1,000 or more.

If you don't make regular payments, you can still start a Pension Portfolio with a single payment or by transferring in another pension. The minimum amount for either of these options is £5,000.

Tax relief

You'll get tax relief on your pension payments at the basic rate of tax. This is currently 20%.

That means that if you choose to make payments of £100 a month into your pension, you will only pay £80 and the government will pay £20. Similarly, if you start your plan with £5,000, you will pay £4,000 and the government will pay £1,000.

If you're a higher-rate taxpayer, you can reclaim the extra tax through your self-assessment tax returns.

The tax information we've given is based on our understanding of current tax law and practice. If the law or practice changes, it could affect how much your plan is worth and your tax liability. Your plan could also be affected by changes in your personal circumstances.

Investment choices

As we've mentioned above, you can choose from three different investment levels.

Each level offers you access to a number of different types of investment, usually through funds. You'll find more straightforward investments in the core level and more complex ones as you move through the choice and flex levels.

You can choose investments that suit your needs and only pay charges for that level of investments. As your needs change, you can move between the levels very easily.

Whichever level you choose, we have a wide range of funds, investing in many different assets. Your financial adviser will be able to help you choose the funds that best suit your needs.We'll invest your payments in the funds you choose. Please bear in mind that the value of your pension fund can go down as well as up and may be worth less than the amount paid in.

Reaching retirement

When you retire, you'll have several options for using your pension fund. You can:

  • use your fund to give you an income for life
  • take up to 25% of your fund as a tax-free cash sum and use the rest to give you an income for life, or
  • take an income from your fund, but leave the bulk of your fund invested for potential growth.

You can't take any money from your pension fund until you turn 55 and must use your fund to give you an income before your 75th birthday.

We'll write to you about your options when you're getting close to your retirement date.

Talk to a financial adviser

It is important that you talk to a financial adviser to ensure you get the right pension. Pension Portfolio is only available through a financial adviser.

Your financial adviser will be able to discuss your financial needs and help you choose your investments. An adviser can assess your personal circumstances and recommend the best course of action for you.

If you don't have an adviser, you can find one in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk.

If you're interested in Pension Portfolio, find out how to apply.

WC03096 06/2013