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Personal pensions are a way of saving for your retirement, in addition to the pensions you get from work or the state. There is no minimum age to start a personal pension. The sooner you start contributing, the longer the money will have to work for you. Delaying can have a big impact on the amount you may receive in retirement. However, it is important that the amount you contribute is affordable.

There are a number of benefits to saving in a personal pension:

  • Attractive tax benefits
  • Rules around contributions and how you can access your benefits have become a lot more flexible
  • Huge range of potential investments available
  • Charges made by pension providers tend to be low

The Alan Boswell Group Difference

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Alan Boswell Financial Planners have been advising clients on wealth management, retirement planning, private medical insurance and employee benefits for over 35 years.

If you’re looking for personal pension advice in Norwich or across East Anglia our qualified independent financial advisers will take the time to get to know you and your objectives and to understand your attitude to investment risk so that the pension options recommended are suitable, making sure we understand which approach, style and budget suits you the best.

Personal Pensions in detail

  • Tax benefits – Contributions to the pension will attract basic rate (20%) tax relief, which effectively tops up the amount being paid in. For example, a contribution of £80 will attract £20 tax relief, meaning £100 will be invested into the pension. Higher and additional rate tax payers will be able to claim additional tax relief via self-assessment. The pension funds will grow almost entirely tax free and at retirement there will be the option to take part of the pension fund as a tax-free lump sum.
  • Contributions – There is no maximum contribution to a personal pension, but there are tax implications of contributing above certain amounts.
    • All individuals (even non-taxpayers) can make pension contributions of up to £3,600 gross in any tax year. Each individual will only have to make a net payment of £2,880 themselves, because basic rate (20%) tax relief is obtained by the pension provider and added to the contribution.
    • If contributions are made in excess of £3,600 gross, the maximum that can be contributed that will qualify for tax relief is 100% of your earnings.
    • There is also an annual allowance, which may change from year to year. If contributions exceed the Annual Allowance there will be a tax charge payable.

Types of personal pension:

  • Stakeholder pensions – these work in the same way as personal pensions, but with certain limits in terms of what they can charge and the minimum contribution, set by the Government.
  • Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) – as an alternative to a traditional personal pension plan run through an insurance company, it is possible to arrange your own plan via a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), administered by a specialist SIPP provider. This has all the advantages of the conventional pension plan, plus the ability to select your own investments.
  • Group personal / stakeholder pensions – an employer can help set up a pension arrangement that groups together individual Personal Pension Plans or Stakeholder Pension Plans.

The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up and you might not get back the original amount invested. The past is not a guide to the future.

The value of tax benefits depends on your individual circumstances and the laws concerning these can change.


  • The minimum age to take the benefits is usually 55. 

  • The money cannot usually be accessed until age 55.

  • Pensions can usually be transferred to other providers. This is something we can help you with, to make sure the decision to transfer is the right one.

  • The money you have saved will usually be payable to your beneficiaries. We can help you complete the relevant paperwork.

  • There are a number of options available at retirement. We can help you establish which retirement income solution is most suitable for you.

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Tony Robinson
Tony Robinson


Tony is a Director in our Wealth team who joined Alan Boswell from the national accountancy firm Grant Thornton in 2003. The Norwich office of…

Paul Steed
Paul Steed

Financial Planner

Paul’s journey in financial services began back in Brighton in the late nineties where he had a brief spell with Aviva, or Norwich Union as…