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Occupational Pensions

What is it?   Can I get it?   What else should I know?   How much might I get?   More information   Other help

What is it?

An occupational pension is a private pension scheme run by some employers and is also known as a works pension, company pension or superannuation.

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Can I get it?

If your employer runs an occupational pension scheme, you should ask him who to contact for more information about the type of scheme that he runs and whether or not you are able to join it.

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What else should I know?

Occupational pensions are paid on top of any basic State Pension that you may earn. There are several different kinds of occupational pension. Some of these will affect any additional State Pension you may have earned under the State Second Pension (formerly SERPS). For more information see 'Contracting out'.

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How much might I get?

For most schemes, the amount that you will get usually depends upon how long you have been a member of your pension scheme and your earnings on retirement. For other schemes, the amount you get will depend upon the amount of money paid into it and how well it has been invested.

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More information

If you are unable to, or do not wish to join an occupational pension scheme you will normally be able to contribute to either a personal pension or a stakeholder pension if that is what you wish and you are able to afford it. The pension that you get from these types of scheme will depend upon the amount of money paid into it and how well it has been invested.

If you are not sure how your employer's occupational pension will affect your State Second Pension, you can get information from your employer and from a series of leaflets all about pensions.

You can read or print or request copies of these leaflets or order them through the Pensions Info-Line on: 0845 7 31 32 33, or by writing to:

DWP Pensions
Freepost BS5555/1
BS99 1BL

More information is available on Pension Credit.

You can apply for a State Pension Forecast.

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Other help

See The Pension Service home page for more information on planning for retirement. It also has helpful information for retired people, employers and financial services providers and advisers.

Personal pensions
State Pension
Jobseeker's Allowance (this link will take you to the Jobcentre Plus website)
Income Support (this link will take you to the Jobcentre Plus website)

Remember that this website is only a general guide to benefits and schemes, and is not a full and authoritative statement of the law.

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