A private pension plan is an account that lets you save money for your future without paying tax on that money's growth.
In even better news, you also don't have to pay income tax on the money you save into a private pension.
In fact, even if you're not earning enough money to pay any income tax in the first place, you can still claim benefit worth up to £720 a year on your pension contribution.
But you won't be able to access the money you save into a private pension until you're at least 55 years old, with that age limit rising to 57 in 2028.
SIPPs let you choose exactly where your money is invested. Simply choose a provider, then pick from the funds, shares and other assets it has on offer.
Personal pension plans see you choose a managing company, then they select which funds and other assets your money is invested in. Sometimes you'll be given a limited set of options to choose between.
The Financial Conduct Authority regulates personal pension plans, Self-invested personal pension (SIPPs) and other private pension schemes.
The Pensions Protection Fund covers people with defined benefit pensions. It will pay out if your company goes bust.
The pensions regulator looks after workplace pensions – both defined contribution and defined benefit.
You can indeed. In fact there are quite a few reasons why it would make sense to move to a new provider.
For example, if you've changed jobs and want to move your old workplace pension somewhere new - or want to consolidate a few old pensions into a single pot - transferring makes sense.
You might also want to move to a provider with lower fees, more choice of funds or your current pension scheme could be closing.
To move pension providers, you need to find one that accepts transfers in and is registered in the UK to make sure you keep your tax-free benefits.
But “unauthorised payments” from your pension - for example moving to a scheme that's overseas or not registered, or just trying to withdraw the savings early - could see you pay tax.
Before you transfer, check:
Your current scheme allows transfers out
Your new scheme accepts transfers in
For any rights you might lose by transferring, such as the right to take more than 25% of the pot as a tax-free lump sum or to start drawing your pension at a certain age
The simplest way to see if any of this applies is to speak to your old and new pension providers.
Some schemes charge members a fee to leave them - while there can also be fees and other conditions attached to transferring into a new one, so do your maths carefully to make sure it all adds up.
A pensions transfer could see you save money on fees or gain more control over your retirement savings."
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