The pension fear factor

Oct 28, 2020
This Halloween, take the fear out of your financial planning, with the first in our new series of stories designed to simplify pensions.


Over the coming months, we’ll be tackling many of the myths and misconceptions that can make pensions seem scary and giving you the tools you need to take control. 

So let’s light those pumpkins and start at the very beginning – what is a pension and why should you care?  

It’s your fund for the future

Think of your pension as a type of savings account, giving you a ‘wage’ or ‘pay out’ when you finish work.  It will help you pay the bills and make the most of your free time.   

There’s ‘free’ money on offer

Because it’s delivered through your employer, the RPS is classed as a workplace pension.  This means that by law your employer must pay into the Scheme, as well as you.  

Some of the money you would normally pay from your wages in tax also goes into your pension, in the form of tax relief from the government.  So the government is effectively also paying in at no cost to you.

You can add even more

By law there is a minimum amount that you and your employer must pay into the Scheme.  Many of our members choose to pay in even more than this, by making what is known as Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). These boost your retirement income and come with tax relief as an added bonus.

You might need it sooner than you think

If you need to stop working due to ill health, you may be eligible for an incapacity pension.  This will give you early access to your pension and could help reduce any financial pressures.

Your loved ones could be cared for

Your Scheme could pay out a cash lump sum and/or a regular pension/pensions to your loved ones if you die.

It’s well protected

A group of people called the ‘Trustee’ are responsible for looking after the Scheme and all the money invested on your behalf. They work with our pension and investment specialists to carry out regular checks and make sure investments are made appropriately.

A number of legal safeguards are also in place to protect pensions, should your employer go bust.  You can find out more at https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/en/protection