Revealed: The most Googled pension questions of 2021, answered by the experts
If you plan on living out your retirement years comfortably, without worrying about finances, then having a pension pot is a must.
However, with an ever-increasing amount of ways to save for retirement or diversify your investment portfolio, pensions can be a confusing topic.
To help those struggling to understand the intricacies of pensions The Compensation Experts has determined the top pension questions posed by Britons in 2021 by analysing Google Data – and answered each of them!
The Most Commonly Asked Pension Question
1. Are pensions taxable?
With an incredible 5,760 Google searches last year for ‘are pensions taxable?’, Brits are clearly concerned about the tax implications of taking out a pension. Your pension is treated as earned income and is subject to income tax. However, it is important to remember that you’re usually able to withdraw 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum as soon as you turn 55.
2. Are pensions worth it?
To answer the 3,840 yearly Google searches for ‘are pensions worth it?’: in short, yes. Paying into a workplace pension is a tax-efficient way of preparing your finances for retirement. Even better, your employer is obliged to top up your pension pot with a contribution of at least 3% of your salary each month.
3. Can I inherit my husband’s state pension?
One of the most pressing pension concerns in Brits is in relation to spousal payments, with 2,620 typing into Google ‘can I inherit my husband’s state pension?’. If your spouse dies, you will be eligible to inherit at least part of their pension plan. However, you must have been married before 6 April 2016, and your partner must have reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 OR would have reached state pension age by this date. If you remarry before you reach state pension age, you will not be eligible to inherit your partner’s pension.
4. Pensions: can you cash them?
With a resounding 2,040 yearly Google searches for ‘pensions can you cash them?’, and an additional 1,320 for ‘can pensions be cashed in?’, there’s clearly intrigue among Brits. You can cash in 25% of your entire pension savings once you reach the age of 55, as a tax-free lump sum. After this, you can continue to withdraw the remaining 75%, but you will have to pay the standard tax rates (as well as any withdrawal charges outlined by your pension provider).
5. Are private pensions safe?
‘Are private pensions safe?’ is a valid concern, held by 1,680 yearly Google searches.. Fortunately, all personal pension pots are protected by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), which covers up to 100% of your payments should your employer goes bust.
6. Pensions: where to start?
The great thing about paying into a workplace pension is that a lot of the work is done for you; to address the 840 annual Google searches of ‘pensions where to start?’, your employer will usually automatically enrol you into a scheme once you earn a salary of over £10,000. If you’re not automatically enrolled, it’s well worth having a chat with your company to put you on a plan.
7. How pensions are divided in divorce
Divorce brings about many financial queries, including ‘how pensions are divided in divorce’, which is pondered by 840 Google searchers each year. Firstly, you can make an informal spousal agreement to protect each of your pensions in the event of divorce. Alternatively, there may be a split. This can either come in the form of a pension transfer, or one of you can offset the value against other assets you share. For instance, you may agree that one of you gets a greater share in the family home in exchange for the other keeping all of their pension.