Pension basics

Get to grips with the basics of pensions and start your retirement planning journey.

Whether you are considering investing in a pension for the first time, want to learn about the various pension terms and schemes, or are self-employed and want to understand your options, our introductory pension guides can help you navigate the world of retirement planning.

Introduction to pensions

Learn the basics of retirement planning including why pension tax relief matters, how to avoid scams, which myths might be putting you off saving and the different ways of taking money from your pension.

Get your free no-obligation pension consultation

If you’re considering getting professional financial advice, Fidelius is offering Rest Less members a free pension consultation. It’s a chance to have an independent financial advisor give an unbiased assessment of your retirement savings. Fidelius is rated 4.7/5 from over 1,000 reviews on VouchedFor. Capital at risk.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pensions

How do pensions work?

A pension is essentially a way of saving for retirement. When you pay into a pension, you receive tax relief on your contributions, which can substantially boost the amount you end up with when you stop work. You’ll usually be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension if you’re employed, into which both your employer and you will contribute. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to make your own pension provision using a private or personal pension.

What is a pension fund?

When you pay into a pension, your money is invested. You’ll usually be offered a range of funds to choose from, but unless you specifically choose one of these,, most pension savers have their contributions automatically invested into a one-size-fits all ‘default fund’.

The default fund is typically what’s known as a ‘lifestyle fund’ which will invest in a broad mix of investments, but predominantly shares, when you are younger and will gradually move into less risky investments, such as gilts (which are government bonds) and cash, as you approach retirement.

When should I start a pension?

The sooner you start paying into a pension the better, as the longer your money will have to grow. However, don’t assume that if you’re in your fifties or sixties that it’s too late to start paying into a pension for the first time. Even setting aside a small sum each month could make a big difference to your retirement income when you stop work.

Investing in a pension

Paying into a pension can provide you with valuable peace of mind that you’ll hopefully be able to afford the lifestyle you want when you retire.

Get a free Pension Health Check

If you’re thinking about getting professional financial advice, you can find a local financial adviser on VouchedFor or Unbiased.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for somewhere to start, we’ve partnered with independent advice firm Fidelius to offer Rest Less members a free initial consultation with a qualified financial advisor. There’s no obligation, however if the adviser feels you’d benefit from paid financial advice, they’ll talk you through how that works and the charges involved.

Fidelius are rated 4.7 out of 5 from over 1,000 reviews on VouchedFor, the review site for financial advisors.

Free pension check by VouchedFor

Pension scams

Losing your hard-saved pension pot to fraudsters can be devastating, but unfortunately there are numerous scams designed to part you from your retirement savings. Here are some of the scams you need to be aware of, and what to do if you think you’ve fallen victim to one.

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