Old Age Pensions
If you are looking for instant advice on which is the best old-age pension for you to pick I am afraid that you will not find it here, but we will at least be able to point you in the right direction. The fact is that pensions are a complicated subject and if you want to go into your requirements in the future in some depth the only way to do that is to talk to an expert and accept the fact that it's going to take some time to sort your way through the maze. There are many many options, schemes, policies etc etc but the main ones are state pensions, occupational pensions, private pensions and pensions connected to private estates or trustee funds (these can be very complex financial instruments and undoubtedly need expert specialist advice).
The state pension system is relatively straightforward; as an employee sums of money are deducted from every wage or salary payment and the government invests it. When you retire, provided that you have made adequate contributions during your working life you will receive a state pension; it is possible whether you are employed or self-employed to make additional payments prior to retirement in order to receive a higher pension entitlement.
An occupational pension, or company pension, is run by the company you work for which makes deductions from your salary, and usually supplements those with contributions it makes itself. This money is invested in a recognized pension scheme and upon retirement you would be paid a pension from your company.
It is also possible to buy a private pension scheme, and there are many options for this type of financial instrument covering such diverse areas as the type of payment you make (for example, weekly, monthly payments or a cash lump sum) and the type of funds that the money is invested in; this is too wide an arena for a simple article to go into in detail and you would need to discuss this is object with a fully qualified professional if you wanted to invest in one.
One of the aspects that many people find objectionable about their state pension schemes is that having paid into them for many many years they cannot understand why they cannot have their pension in a lump sum rather than a monthly payment for the rest of their lives. The fact is that we live in a world in which populations are getting older and older and more and more people are taking their pensions out on the communal fund for a much longer period, and so ensuring that there is enough money available to service everyone's needs demands a very difficult balancing act. We cannot allow a situation in which there is no money left for old people to live on, because in a democracy we would all like to have the right to have sufficient income to live on after we had become too old to hold down a job, and no one wants to see the return of the bad old days of the workhouse or debtor's prison so the funds have to be allocated in a sensible way which means that rules and regulations have to be drawn up and adhered to. One of the advantages of a private pension scheme as against the state pension is that they can be more flexible provided that any variations agreed to right at the inception of the scheme so that they can be costed in by the actuaries.
The vast majority of us will eventually retire and receive a state pension, which although it will hardly keep us in luxury it should at least allow us to afford a dignified old age. If any of us wish to supplement this with a private pension the options are many and complex and, once again, it is worth stressing that qualified professional advice is absolutely essential.