FAQs: Pension scheme membership
What is the pension?
The pension is the money that supports people when they are retired. There are a few different types of pensions:
- The State Pension
- Workplace pensions
- Personal pensions
What is the State Pension?
The State Pension is a regular payment made by the Government once a person has retired. The State Pension can only be received when a person reaches State Pension age. It is based on the National Insurance contributions that person has made throughout their life. It is made up of two parts:
- The basic State Pension (the value of which depends on how many qualifying years of National Insurance the person has)
- The additional State Pension
What are workplace pensions?
Workplace pensions are pension schemes offered to employees by their employers. Workplace pension schemes involve the employee saving regular amounts of money by way of contributions deducted directly from their wages. Some schemes also involve the employer making additional contributions through the pension scheme. There are many different types of schemes, the main ones being defined benefit schemes (also known as final salary pension schemes) and defined contribution schemes (also known as money purchase schemes).
Is pension scheme membership open to all employees?
All employers with five or more employees must offer access to some kind of pension scheme. However, not all employees are eligible for all workplace schemes – you will have to check with your employer for information regarding your workplace’s scheme.
How do you join a pension scheme?
You should receive information about any workplace pension schemes within two months of commencing work with a new employer. That information should include how the sign up for membership of the pension scheme. You should join as soon as possible to take full advantages of the benefits. Some pension schemes will not allow you to join the scheme if you have previously declined to join. You should speak to the HR department of your workplace to discuss your options.
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