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Frequently asked questions.

Is a pension right for me?

For most people, joining a workplace pension is a good way of building up a pot of money to provide an income in retirement. You'll get tax relief on your contributions and your employer may pay in too, giving a significant boost to your savings. However there may be times when paying into a pension may not be the best option. For instance if you have outstanding debts which need to be paid off or other financial considerations take precedence. Please note, you may have to pay tax when you take money out of your pension.

What happens to my pension if I change my job?

Upon leaving your company you'll have some options available to you with regard to your pension:

  • You can keep the plan with us for as long as you want and not pay into it. Everything that's in the plan will still be invested for you and annual management charges will continue to be deducted. You may be able to continue payments or start again in the future depending on the type of scheme your employer has set up. Please note, if annual management charges are greater than any fund growth, the value of your investments will reduce.
  • At any time in the future you can transfer the pension you hold with us to another provider. We won't charge you to do this.
  • As soon as we receive the last payment from your old employer, we'll send you a leaver's pack which explains all your options in more detail.
How do I change my contact or address details?

You can change your contact details now by logging into Manage Your Account.

You can also call our Employee Support Team on 0345 070 8686 or send us your new details in writing. Please make sure you quote your arrangement number on the letter. We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.

How much can I save in my workplace pension?

You can contribute up to 100% of your relevant earnings or £3,600 gross, if greater, into your pension plan. If your contributions go over the Annual Allowance including employer contributions (currently £40,000 in the tax year 2017/2018) you will incur a tax charge up to the highest rate you pay. For those with earnings over £110,000 a year, and £150,000 a year when total pension contributions are included, the annual allowance may reduce below £40,000 but not less than £10,000. Please note it may be possible to carry forward unused Annual Allowances from up to three previous tax years.

If you have started drawing a flexible income from your pension pot, your Annual Allowance will reduce and the tax relief you can get on any future pension savings is limited to £10,000 a year and you can't carry forward any unused allowances. If you want to carry on building up your pension pot this may influence when you start taking income. Taking your tax-free cash lump sum without any other income doesn't affect your Annual Allowance.

The Retirement Planner helps you understand how much you may need to pay in given the retirement income you hope to get. If you join or are already in a company pension scheme, you should receive an annual statement from your pension provider showing the progress of your savings over the last year.

The size of your pension pot will depend on how much you pay in and for how long, together with the performance of your chosen investment funds. Generally speaking, the sooner you start and the more you pay in, the more you'll benefit at retirement.

Don't forget you may want to take into account any other savings or investments that you're relying on to provide an income when you retire.

In general, tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.

If you are uncertain how to proceed we recommend you seek financial advice.

Do I have to contribute every month?

You can stop contributions to your pension at any time without penalty. Think about why you've decided to stop contributions, as it will have an effect on your retirement income. We'll still take charges from your fund even if you stop contributions.

You can restart contributions at any time, again without penalty. If your employer is deducting the contribution from your salary they may restrict when you can restart.

It's worth bearing in mind that saving regularly can be easy to stop but difficult to start up again. After a month or so you may not notice the contribution going from your salary, but if you decide to stop, starting again can be hard.

Use our  Retirement planning  tool to help you plan ahead and see if you're on track to fund the retirement you want.

Do I have a choice about joining my workplace pension scheme?

Since 2012, employers have been required to automatically enroll their eligible employees into a workplace pension scheme from the company’s allotted staging date. Staging dates are based on the size of the company, largest first, so your employer staging date may still be to come. If and when you’re notified that you’ve been automatically enrolled, you can choose to opt out, but you may be missing out on benefits, such as contributions from your employer and tax relief.

Your employer is required to enrol you again every three years if you are still eligible and not currently a member of their pension scheme. You will have the right to opt out again.

Find out more about auto enrolment and how it will affect you.

What's a defined contribution scheme?

A personal or workplace pension where contributions and investment performance dictate how much money you have available to provide an income for retirement. Also referred to as ‘money purchase’ schemes as whatever pot you have built up can be used to purchase an annuity.

Since April 2015, new rules about accessing pension pots mean that people have more freedom to take an income direct from their pot as and when they want or need it.

Why have I been enrolled into my workplace pension scheme again?

If you’ve previously opted out of the scheme, re-enrolment is an opportunity to start saving into your pension pot. Your employer is required to enrol you into the workplace pension scheme every three years if you’re still eligible and not currently a member of their pension scheme.

You have the right to opt out again within one month of being re-enrolled.

Find out more about automatic enrolment and how it will affect you.

What's a defined benefit scheme?

The most common type of defined benefit scheme is a final salary scheme. The benefits depend on:

  • your number of years of service
  • your final salary at the time benefits are taken
  • the accrual rates of the scheme (determined by your employer)

Defined benefit schemes can be:

  • contributory - both the employer and employee pay contributions to provide benefits
  • non-contributory - only the employer pays contributions

For further information on defined benefit schemes please speak to a financial adviser.

What funds are available through my Legal & General pension?

You will need to check your policy documents to find out whether you have a Stakeholder Pension, Group Personal Pension, WorkSave Buy Out Plan or a WorkSave Pension Plan. You can find the relevant funds information for your plan detailing all the funds available to you in the Fund zone.

With your company pension plan you can choose from a range of funds. The funds vary considerably in where they invest and what they invest in, so they can carry different levels of risk. Generally speaking, the lower the risk, the lower the average return you might expect but the less the value of your pension fund will change on a day to day basis.

In contrast, taking more risk will give you the potential for higher average returns but you are likely to experience greater change in the day to day value of your investment and a wider range of possible outcomes for the value of your pension pot.

To choose your investment funds you may want to take the following into account:

  • Diversification – it’s usually a good idea to invest in different areas, such as investment types and countries, and choose funds managed by different people to spread the risk.
  • Your knowledge and experience – do you understand what you’re investing in or is it new to you?
  • What are you trying to achieve – think about your income needs in retirement and how long you’ll be investing for.
  • How much risk can you afford to accept? Can you afford to take a lower income if your investments don't perform as well as you hope?
  • How prepared are you to keep your investments under regular review and make changes as required?
  • Do you know if the investment market is particularly strong or weak? Investing at the top or bottom of the market will impact your possible return.

If you would like advice on what funds to invest in you should speak to a financial adviser. If you are close to retirement now you can contact Pension Wise or you can find an adviser at Unbiased .

The value of your pension fund may fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You should choose your funds carefully and review them regularly, particularly if you are close to retirement.

What investment strategy is right for me?

The vast majority of people who join a company pension plan invest in its default fund which is designed to be broadly suitable for the majority of savers. You should remember that a default fund has not been assessed against your own personal circumstances and so it might not be the right investment choice for you.

If you wish to make your own investment decisions and consider a wider range of funds, we can help you understand the things you need to take into account. An important element of this is how much investment risk you're prepared to take in pursuit of a higher potential return.

Use the Attitude to Risk tool to help you understand more about your personal attitude to investment risk. After using the tool you should check whether the suggested risk profile is right for you as we can't take into account your individual circumstances or preferences. More information on funds and risk and reward can be found in the Fund Zone.

Once you understand your attitude to risk, you'll be in a better position to choose the investment funds that are right for you. It's important that you only invest in funds that you understand and are comfortable with. Bear in mind that it's generally better to spread your money around to reduce the impact of one type of investment performing poorly.

As you get closer to your chosen retirement age you should take extra care before investing as all funds can fall in value over a relatively short time period. You may wish to have your pot automatically moved into less risky investment funds as you approach retirement, which can be achieved by investing in a Lifestyle Profile.

What's a lifestyle profile?

A lifestyle profile is an investment option. Your contributions initially go into a fund or funds that are typically invested mainly in shares. This offers you the potential for long-term growth. In the years before your selected retirement date, we steadily switch your investment into funds with lower risk.

You can stop a switch, or switch into other funds, by telling us in writing. It means you stop the lifestyle profile approach, but you can rejoin it later.

The value of your pension fund may fall as well as rise, and is not guaranteed. You should choose your funds carefully and review them regularly, particularly if you are close to retirement.

How do I switch or redirect funds I'm invested in?

You can make changes to your investments by logging in to Manage Your Account.

You can also make changes by sending us the request in writing. Please make sure you quote your arrangement number on the letter.

Please note - you can't combine a lifestyle profile with any other fund. If you're already invested in a lifestyle profile and want to change your investment, you'll have to switch all existing payments and redirect any future payments to your new fund choice. Likewise, if you'd like to start investing in a lifestyle profile, you'll have to switch all existing payments and redirect all future payments into the lifestyle profile.

The value of your pension fund may fall as well as rise, and is not guaranteed. You should choose your funds carefully and review them regularly, particularly if you are close to retirement.

Can I transfer other pensions into my Legal & General plan?

Although your pension with Legal & General may accept transfers, we would always recommend you speak to a financial adviser before transferring any other pensions you have to us just to make sure that you won't lose out financially. Your other pension providers may charge you if you transfer out of their policy and there may be other benefits attached to your pension that you might forfeit if you decide to transfer it.

You can visit Unbiased to help you find a financial adviser in your local area. If you decide not to speak to a financial adviser, you can contact our Employee Support Team on 0345 070 8686 to discuss transfer options that may be open to you. We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.

How do I add or change a beneficiary?

All you need to do is inform us of the request in writing. Simply send us a letter, quote your policy number and give us the full name and address of the person you want added to your plan.

If you want any beneficiaries removed, likewise simply inform us of the change in writing (although please note, once you've nominated a beneficiary you can't go back to having no beneficiary at all).

How do I change my contribution amounts?

If your pension payments come straight from your salary then you need to tell your payroll department about any changes you wish to make to your payments.

If you pay by your own direct debit simply send us a letter, quote your arrangement number and tell us what you'd like to change your payments to.

Can I cancel my plan?

Once you've joined a pension plan with us, you'll have 30 days from our receipt of your first contribution to cancel your plan. We'll refund any contribution paid.

After this period HMRC rules state that your money will be tied up in a pension scheme until you take benefits, any time after you reach age 55.

I'm over 55, what are my options for accessing my pension pot?

If your scheme allows you will be able to take income drawdown from age 55 without retiring, you can also still continue to contribute to your pension pot.  For more information please see our "accessing your pension pot" page.

I'm retiring in the near future. Where can I get a retirement quote?

You can request a retirement quote from our Claims team by ringing them on 0370 165 9406. Please note, the annuity rate used to calculate any retirement quotes will be guaranteed for 35 days. We may record and monitor calls. Call charges will vary.

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