Pensions are designed to provide income to live in retirement. There are state sponsored schemes which offer limited income and a host of private schemes facilitating investors to increase their retirement income. Most people should consider options to top up ther retirement income above and beyond the state pension that they will receive.

Types of UK Pensions.
Below is a list of the pension options available in the UK:

Basic state pension.
This is an entitlement for most people with the pension dependent on national insurance contributions. At the time of writing there is some talk of a change to the system whereby everyone gets £140 a week (Nov 2010). Search the site for the most up to date news on the basic state pension.

State Second Pension.
On 6 April 2002, the State Second Pension (S2P), introduced by the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 replaced the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).

Personal and Stakeholder pensions.
Personal pensions were introduce 1st July 1988 as a way for people not part of an occpation scheme to have a portable pension. Recent legislation has meant that personal pensions are now available to people who have other pension as well.

Occupational pension schemes.
Occupational pension schemes are set up by employers to provide for their employees. In the past public sector schemes typically offered pension accrual of 1/80th of final remuneration for each year of service up to a maximum of 40 years plus a tax free lump sum of up to 1.5 x final remuneration.

Private sector schemes can be either final salary schemes known as defined benefit schemes or money purchase schemes known as defined contribution schemes. Although most are now defined contribution schemes.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs).
It is now compulsory for companies to offer employees the opportunity to invest additional contributions into their occupational scheme where there is one, in order to boost retirement benefits.
Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions (FSAVCs).
Free standing additional voluntary contribution schemes (FSAVCs) were introduced in 1987. more >>

Self Invested Personal Pension Schemes (SIPPS).
From April 6th 2006 Government proposals for pension simplification came into effect. This has lead to many new opportunities for people to invest their savings for the long term with greater flexibility when it comes to retirement and ways of generating an income. Self Invested Personal Pensions are a popular choice for people looking to invest large amounts of money towards their pension.

State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).The State Second Pension (S2P) replaced SERPS with effect from 6 April 2002.