How your workplace pension adds up
If you pay into a workplace pension it’s important to understand what that means. If you’re not sure about whether you pay into a workplace pension, or who your pension is with, check with your employer.
Please note, this article assumes you're paying into a a defined contribution workplace pension. See more on the different types of pension.
Your workplace pension could end up providing a decent part of your retirement income, so make sure you get to grips with it now.
The value of your pension can go down as well as up and you may get back less than has been paid in.
How your workplace pension works
Money is paid in
You make regular payments into your pension directly from your salary. This happens automatically and you don’t need to do anything. Your employer normally has to make payments too.
Your money is invested
Your money may initially be invested in a default approach, managed by experts. If you are confident in managing your own investments, you may be able to choose where you want to invest, for example into funds. Funds invest in shares, fixed interest, property and money markets, with varying levels of risk. Please remember that charges may apply to your pensions and there may be additional charges depending on where you invest. You should check the details of your pension scheme to see what your investment options are.
Use your money when you retire
You can usually start taking money from your pension once you're 55 (57 from 6 April 2028 unless you have a protected pension age). You can withdraw it all in cash, keep the money invested but take some out when you want to, convert it all into a regular income or go with a combination of all three. It's up to you!
What’s in it for you?
The money you save into your pension now can help pay for the lifestyle you want when it’s time to stop work or slow down.
- Regular payments add up
Making regular payments into your pension can help you build up your savings over time. And with the money going straight from your salary, you probably won’t even notice it’s happening
- Your employer may pay in too
Your employer normally has to make payments into your workplace pension too - and some will increase their payments if you increase yours. Check with your employer to make sure you’re making the most of your workplace pension
- Tax efficient
When you make a payment into your pension, you'll get tax relief from the government on up to 100% of your relevant UK earnings. This means a personal contribution of £100 will typically cost you no more than £80. A separate tax charge will apply to contributions in excess of your annual allowance - in most cases, this is £60,000, although it may be reduced if you are a high earner or have flexibly accessed taxable pension benefits in the past. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future. Allowances may differ in Scotland and Wales.
- Investment growth
As your money will be invested, it has the potential to grow over time. However, you should remember the value of your pension can go down as well as up and you could get back less than has been paid in
- It’s yours for keeps
Your pension belongs to you and is run by us or the appointed trustee. And it stays yours, even if you move to a new job or the company you work for goes out of business or changes hands
- Making sure your pension gives you value for money
Some pension schemes are assessed by an Independent Governance Committee (IGC). They have a duty to assess the value for money pension schemes provide to their members, and to improve the governance of schemes. In other types of pension schemes, these same duties are carried out by trustees, supported by investment and other professional advisers. In all cases, someone is responsible for ensuring that your pension scheme gives you vale for money
Manage your pension online
If you have a workplace pension with Aviva, you can manage your pension plan online.
Log in to your MyAviva account to see your pension details and manage any changes. If you haven’t registered for an account yet, you'll need to have your pension policy number.
Workplace pension scheme members should log into or register for MyWorkplace instead of MyAviva if you have an account number starting with "GS", or a membership number starting with "F".
Thinking of retiring?
We offer a range of options, so you can manage your pension whichever way suits you. You can use your pension money any time after you turn 55 (57 from 6 April 2028 unless you have a protected pension age). Remember to shop around to get the best deal when choosing which retirement option is right for you.