It is worth considering salary sacrifice to increase your pension contributions, and both you and your employer must agree to this.
There are various tax advantages that are available under this type of arrangement:
- Salary sacrifice involves giving up part of your salary to increase your pension provision.
- The amount of salary that you have given up is paid directly.
- By sacrificing salary before it is paid to you, you will not pay income tax or National Insurance contributions on the amount sacrificed.
- Your employer may choose to add the saving in their National Insurance contributions to your pension plan.
- Your pension benefits will be enhanced by the additional contribution made.
Salary sacrifice is a permanent alteration to the contract of employment, and as such, the employer may not revert to the original (higher) salary level. This may mean a possible reduction in State benefits including Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Incapacity Benefit, Job Seeker’s Allowance and possibly the Basic State Pension.
There may be a reduction in any Company Benefits available and Salary Sacrifice may impact on mortgage borrowing, credit card limits, personal loan limits, Permanent Heath Insurance benefits and redundancy entitlements.
The value of tax benefits may change and will depend on your financial circumstances. The information we have given is based on our understanding of law and current HM Revenue & Customs practice.
FR can provide you with some example calculations to illustrate the effect of the tax saving, if you wish to consider this.
Employers workplace pension schemes including Final Salary, Money Purchase, and Group Personal Pensions (GPP).
Group personal pensions are becoming more popular with employers, these are low cost personal pension plans bought by groups of employees under the auspices of their employer. See section on Personal Pensions.
Your employer will make a contribution to your occupational pension scheme in addition to deducting any contribution that you are required to make.
You may make extra contributions to your occupational scheme to boost your pension provision up to a maximum limit of 100% of earnings or £3,600 (whichever is the greater) subject to a maximum of £40,000 per annum which is the current annual allowance.
Eligibility to join a company scheme varies from company to company. Some allow their employees to join either straightaway or very soon after joining the company, whilst others put in place conditions before an employee can join such as a minimum 2 years of service, or upon reaching a certain age.
The two main types
There are two main types of company scheme; final salary & money purchase. They differ greatly in what they offer and how they work.
At present, final salary schemes are the most common in terms of number of members, but many large firms are now switching over to the money purchase type because they are cheaper for the employer to fund .
A PENSION IS A LONG TERM INVESTMENT. YOUR EVENTUAL INCOME MAY DEPEND ON THE SIZE OF THE FUND AT RETIREMENT, FUTURE INTEREST RATES, AND TAX LEGISLATION.