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Three quarters of the UK unaware they can add to loved ones’ pensions

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Almost three quarters of the UK are unaware they can contribute to their partner or child’s pension, according to a financial service company.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s findings revealed that a total of 73% of 2,000 respondents didn’t know about the rule applicable to someone’s non-earning spouse, partner, or child. Currently, a loved one can add up to £2,880 to a pension and thanks to a tax relief, the overall payment will in fact be worth £3,600.

Even if the recipient is in employment, a payment can still be made to their pension. This is as long as all contributions remain below their annual allowance (or whatever is lowest between 100% of their earnings or £60,000).

The analysis on people’s pension knowledge follows a study by TPT Retirement Solutions which revealed half of defined contribution savers didn’t know they get tax relief on their workplace pensions.

Paying into a child’s pension ‘important financial planning opportunity’

Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The ability to pay into a partner’s or child’s pension is an important financial planning opportunity and yet the vast majority of us are completely unaware of it. Contributing to a partner’s pension during times when they aren’t working can play a vital part in plugging any gaps in their long-term saving and helping them build a resilient retirement income.

“Meanwhile, you can get your child’s or grandchild’s pension planning off to a flying start by paying into a Junior SIPP on their behalf while they are small.”

She added: “It’s an incredibly tax efficient way of using your money, particularly if you have used your own annual allowance. You don’t even have to pay in the full amount every year, making smaller contributions as and when you can, will have a big impact long-term.

“If you have more money to spare and you have used your own annual allowance, then you can top up the pension of a working spouse or partner too as long as their overall contributions don’t exceed their annual allowance.”