Stopping payments into your company pension plan
If you’re considering stopping payments to your pension plan, we’ll be happy to help. It’s important to note that once we’ve been told what you’ve decided to do, you may not be able to change your mind. Please be sure you understand all your options, and the effect of any changes you make. There are a few things you should think about before you make any decisions.
If you have waiver of premium with your plan and you’re unable to work through illness or accident, you may be able to apply for your payments to made on your behalf. Please call so we can talk to you about this in more detail.
If you have any questions once you’ve read this summary, or need any help understanding your options, either speak to your HR department or call us on 0808 234 3030, or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad.
How a company pension plan works
There’s a variety of pension plans available. They’re designed to provide a tax-efficient way of helping you to build up a pension pot to provide for your retirement.
Payments might be made into your plan by you, your employer, or both of you. Pension plans offer tax relief on your payments, subject to certain limits.
Your money will be invested in funds looked after by fund managers, who try to achieve the best returns possible. Any growth in your plan will be largely tax-free too. A charge is taken for managing your plan. Details of your fund choices and charges can be found in your annual statement. If you don’t have your annual statement or you’ve lost it, you can request a new one. Just call us.
In most cases, when you take your benefits, you can take up to 25% of your plan tax-free and the remainder will be taxable.
These vary depending on the plan you have. To find out what options you have speak to your HR department or give us a call. Your options could include:
Taking a payment break, by stopping payments temporarily.
Making your plan paid-up, by stopping payments permanently.
Alternatively you could consider changing the amount you pay.
Things to consider before making your decision
There are a few things you should think about before you stop making payments:
- The amount available to provide benefits will be reduced.
- You will lose any additional benefits, like life cover or waiver of premium.
- You may not be able to restart payments.
- There may be a change to charges or additional charges. Existing charges for managing your plan will continue until you take your benefits or transfer elsewhere.
- If your employer also makes payments these will be affected. Your employer should be able to help you if this is the case.
- There could be an impact on any state or salary related benefits that you may be entitled to.
- You may have to make a decision about what to do with your plan. For example, your plan may need to be transferred if you stop making payments permanently.
In the meantime, your plan will continue to be invested in the funds you’ve chosen, and you will be able to change where it’s invested.
Remember, the value of your investment could go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount that you put in.
Protecting yourself from pension scams
According to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre, an estimated £1.2bn is lost to scams every year. So if you’re thinking of reinvesting the money from your plan, take a minute to find out more, and stay ahead of the scammers. There is also some very useful information available from The Pensions Regulator.
What to do now
We can’t give you advice or make your decision for you, but we’ll be happy to help you understand your plan and talk you through all your available options and their possible implications.
If you have any questions or need more help understanding your options, you can either speak to your HR department, or contact us on 0808 234 3030 or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad. We’re here 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and happy to help in any way we can. Please make sure you have your plan number to hand when you call.
Alternatively, speak with a financial adviser - if you don’t have one, you can get details of financial advisers in your area from pru.co.uk and selecting ‘contact a financial adviser’. You may be charged for their services.