Stakeholder Pension - Risk Factors

Once you have invested money, under current rules, you can't take the money out of your pension until at least your 50th birthday (55th birthday as of 2010) and 75th birthday at the latest , after which up to a quarter of the fund can be used to provide you with a tax-free lump sum, the remainder of which must be used to provide an income for life.

The value of your fund can go down as well as up. The value will depend on how much you save, the charges you pay and the rate at which your investment grows.

The income you get at retirement will depend on interest and annuity rates available at that time.

If you don't keep up payments or retire earlier than expected, your pension is likely to be worth less than you expect at retirement.

If you transfer another pension plan into a Stakeholder Pension, the other pension provider may apply a "transfer penalty".

Future changes in law and tax practice could affect how much your plan is worth and your tax liability.

If you contract out of the State Second Pension (S2P), the income you get in retirement will depend on payments from the Inland Revenue, the growth within your pension and the annuity rates at your retirement, and may be less than S2P would have provided.