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EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: World Remi

This week’s subject is: EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN THE UK

When starting work in the UK, there’s more to consider than simply what your salary will be. There are also extra benefits to take into account - some are legally required, others are optional.

Together these benefits can make your whole work package far more attractive. Independent Financial Adviser, Chris Daems gives his advice on some of the most typical issues newcomers to the UK may have.

Ask an expert

Money Matters started by asking Chis what benefits employers typically offer as part of a workplace package. Chris replied that it very much depends on the employer. However, as a minimum, an employer has to offer a workplace pension within three months of you starting your employment.

Employers may offer other benefits that they’re not legally obliged to, such as; health cover, life cover and income protection. So it’s really worth checking all the small print on your contract before accepting a job. Never assume these benefits are just included.

The issue of tax and state pensions

Chris tells us that everyone working in the UK must pay two kinds of tax – Income Tax and National Insurance. Income tax pays for everything that the government supplies – police, fire service, ambulance service, NHS etc.

National Insurance is designed to help you build up a pot of money that will provide you with a state pension, as long as you have paid in for long enough. Even if you’re intending to leave the UK, if you’ve paid National Insurance for a minimum of 10 years, you’ll be entitled to a state pension. The amount you get in state pension will depend how long you’ve contributed. The maximum you can contribute into NI is 40 years.

More about workplace pensions

Even if you are only working temporarily in the UK, as soon as you’ve worked for
3 months you’ll be entitled to a workplace pension. Any additional benefits you may get are at your employer’s discretion.

But we asked Chris what would happen to your workplace pension if you leave the UK. Chris explains that it very much depends on the country you move to. Many countries do have tax agreements with the UK, which means that you can move your pension. But it’s really worth getting professional advice.

We also asked if it’s possible to trace an old pension that you may have had years before. Chris said you can through this very useful resource: www.pension-tracing-service-uk.co.uk

And finally, where can you access more advice and information about your workplace pension? The first stop should always be your employer. They are obliged to tell you exactly what you are entitled to.

You can also always visit: www.pensionsregulator.gov.uk

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