Orchard Independent - Financial Advisers in Edinburgh
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Looking for help with pensions in Edinburgh?

Look no further, we are Independent Financial Advisers and have been helping our clients in the Edinburgh area for many years. Please browse through the information below and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Planning for Retirement

Retirement should be seen as a time to enjoy ourselves, but how can you be sure you will have sufficient income to ensure this?

Due to the complexities of the pension market, not all will understand or have the time to find out about changes and forces within the industry which shape all of our futures. However, those who are simply hoping to rely on the state may be in for a rude awakening.

New legislation in the last few years has greatly increased the options and choices available, both before and after retirement.

We are Independent Financial Advisers, and can offer you unbiased and impartial advice to guide you through the retirement maze.

We can ensure that you have the right contracts in place, as well as assessing what any current pension you may have and explain the options and choices available to you for retirement planning.

Retirement may seem a long way off, or it may be looming on the horizon, but by contacting us now for a pensions health check, we review if you are on course for a secure and happy retirement.

We will be happy to provide the professional advice you need, so please contact us on 0131 620 6202 or complete our online enquiry form for a no-nonsense and truly unbiased review of your present position and future aspirations.

The stakeholder pension was first outlined by the Government in 1998 and introduced in April 2001.

Aimed at appealing to lower earners (defined as earning about £9,000 to £20,000 a year), stakeholders are low-cost, transparent and flexible pensions.

A stakeholder pension must:
• Come with no entry charges.
• Carry charges of no more than 1.5% of the pension fund
• Allow low minimum contributions of £20 or less
• Let contributors stop and start contributions at will and free of charge.

Personal Pensions were introduced in 1988. Unlike stakeholder plans which have certain criteria laid down by government as detailed under stakeholder section, rules for personal pensions differ.

• Have no entry charges
• Maximum annual charge of no more than 1.5% of the pension fund
• Allow low minimum contributions of £20
• Let contributors stop and start contributions at will and free of charges
• No transfer penalties

Personal Pension
• May have entry charges
• Can carry charges higher than 1.5% of the pension fund
• Provider may set their own minimum premium levels for entry
• Charges may apply for stopping and starting contributions
• May have transfer penalties

A GPP is type of personal pension that is often mistaken for an occupational scheme.

A GPP is organised by the employer with a single pension company. The employer chooses the pension provider. If an employee signs up to a GPP, they have an individual personal pension with the provider.

The employer may be able to negotiate better terms (lower charges) with the GPP provider than the individual would get if they bought a personal pension of their own from the same supplier.

And the employer may add contributions to each individual's pension within the GPP.

However, an individual may be able to arrange a more suitable (more flexible or with a better investment performance) personal pension of their own from another supplier than the GPP offers. And they may be able to persuade the employer to contribute to their own personal pension.

Company Money Purchase Pension

Money purchase pension schemes are fast taking over final salary as the accepted type of company pension.

• Your contributions and your employer's are invested on your behalf and the proceeds of your own 'pot' are made available to you when you retire.
• The pension fund grows in a tax efficient environment.
• Some of your pot can be taken as a tax-free lump sum when you retire, but most of it is used to buy annuity.
• The downside of a money purchase occupational pension, as opposed to a final salary scheme, is that it does not guarantee the level of income you will have in retirement.
• Employers contribute some of the costs to these schemes.
• Most occupational schemes will provide benefits for your family or dependents if you die before retirement age.

Company Final Salary Pension

The final salary-type pension is the original, and often the most generous company scheme. This type of pension is fast disappearing.

• If you work for a firm that offers a company pension it nearly always makes sense to join the scheme
• Employers contribute some of the costs to these schemes.
• This type of pension is also known as a defined benefit pension
• It is defined in that you know that the amount of pension you receive when you retire will be calculated using a set formula
• The key factor in the formula is how long you have worked for your employer. The longer you have been employed by them, the larger the proportion of your final salary you will receive on retirement
• Whether you die before or after retirement, a final salary scheme also pays a pension to your spouse. Most final salary pension schemes are simply to good to ignore

Putting as much extra money as possible into your pension can bring substantial rewards

Additional Voluntary Contributions
• As a member of an occupational scheme, you can make AVCs to your pension fund either on a regular basis or as one-off lump sum payments
• Your employer will either meet the running cost of the AVC entirely, or will negotiate a low-charge system with the pension provider
• The employer has the power to do this because they are offering multiple cases to the pensions provider.

Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions

The main drawback of the FSAVC compared to the AVC is the charges - as an individual, you will face higher administration fees and charges than as part of a group.

Contribution limits are the greater of £3,600 or 100% of earnings (whichever is greater).


For Investment Planning and Pension Advice recommendations will be based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of the market.


Orchard Independent Ltd is an appointed representative of TenetConnect Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TenetConnect Services Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register (http://www.fca.org.uk/register) under 150643.

Orchard Independent Ltd.  12 Dalziel Place, Edinburgh, EH7 5TR. Telephone - 0131 620 6202.

Registered in Scotland - Company No. SC355263

The guidance and/or advice contained within this website is/are subject to the UK regulatory regime and is/are therefore primarily targeted at consumers based in the UK.

Director - Jon Carter