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What is a pension?

A pension is simply a form of saving for retirement. The idea is that during your working life you contribute towards pensions to ensure you can afford to retire at your chosen retirement age.

Getting this right requires long-term planning and commitment.  So, it requires regular reviews to ensure your pension and retirement plans remain on track.

The three main categories of pension are:

  • Personal pensions.
  • Workplace pensions.
  • The state pension.

What is a personal pension?

A personal pension (often referred to as a personal pension plan, private pension, PP or PPP) is simply a form of saving for retirement which has generous tax benefits. The money you save in a personal pension builds up into a pot which is invested.

A personal pension is your own private pension which you can keep, regardless of your employment status.

There are many rules around personal pensions including rules around the tapered annual allowance, the annual allowance and the lifetime allowance. It is important to take independent financial advice to ensure your personal pension is tailored to your individual needs.

Why not contact us today for a no obligation chat and discover how our independent advice can help you plan for your future.

What is a workplace pension?

A workplace pension is a way of saving for retirement arranged through your employer. Workplace pensions are sometimes referred to as company pensions, occupational pensions, group personal pensions, GPPs or works pensions.

Workplace pensions are explained in more detail on our dedicated workplace pension advice page.

How does the state pension work?

If you are working, you are usually paying National Insurance contributions (NICs). This means you are building up a right to get a state pension when you reach state pension age.

State pension ages have been undergoing wholesale changes since April 2010. At present state pension ages are on a glidepath to increase to 68 for both men and women. Your actual state pension age will depend on your date of birth.  Further changes are planned to state pension ages.

It is always advisable to get a state pension forecast from the government.

Why not contact one of our expert independent financial advisers today for a no obligation chat and discuss your retirement and pension options.

Importance of pension advice

Your pension is immensely important to you and pensions need proper planning as well as utmost care and attention. It is imperative that you take independent financial advice before making any decisions that involve money and finance – especially those concerning pensions and retirement planning.

As whole of market independent financial advisers (IFAs) we are not tied to the products of any particular pension provider, so we are able to identify the best possible option for you in the whole marketplace.

Whether you are new to pension planning or wish to consult on existing plans you already have in place, contact us and discover how our expert financial advice can help you plan for your future.

Our Scottish base in Glasgow is no barrier to giving whole of market independent financial advice across the UK.


A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value can fluctuate and go down. All information is based on Farrell Financial Planning’s understanding of UK law & HMRC practice in the UK. Tax and legislation are subject to change.