Contracting Out explained and why you should ACT NOW to trace your pension!
Over the last 20 years, most employed people could choose to be contracted out of the State Second Pension, or its predecessor known as SERPS, into a personal or stakeholder pension. In return they would receive an annual rebate of some of their National Insurance payments invested into a personal pension. This money is called protected rights, but you may also know it as a 'contracted out pension' a 'SERPS pension' or an 'Appropriate Personal Pension' (APP). Since 1988 over six million people have contracted out of SERPS with around £100bn held in Protected Rights accounts.
Recent legislation changes have affected how the benefits in Protected Rights Pension schemes can be paid out. Until now all the pension fund had to be used to purchase an annuity (or income) at your normal retirement age, but it if the fund is invested in a new style stakeholder pension it may be possible to take 25% of the fund as a lump sum tax free.
Are you one of them?
How can I find out if I have ever contracted out of SERPS?
To check whether you are or have ever contracted out, call the HMRC Contracted Out Pension Helpline on 0845 915 0150. Have your national insurance number to hand.
If you have contracted out of SERPS the next step is to trace the pension scheme.
How can I trace any pensions of which I have lost track?
We offer a service that can help you track lost pensions, including personal pensions or occupational pensions which may be 'frozen' pensions.