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There are many different types of pensions, including defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, as well as several others. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular instalments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.
The terms retirement plan and superannuation refer to a pension granted upon retirement of the individual. Retirement plans may be set up by employers, insurance companies, the government or other institutions such as employer associations or trade unions. Retirement pensions are typically in the form of a guaranteed life annuity, to take into account the recent changes to pension freedoms.
A pension created by an employer for the benefit of an employee is commonly referred to as an occupational or employer pension. Occupational pensions are a form of deferred compensation, usually advantageous to employee and employer for tax reasons. Many pensions also contain an additional insurance aspect, since they often will pay benefits to beneficiaries.