Pension Change History

The pension market has been through numerous changes over the years – and the routes we take to turn our savings into retirement income have changed along with it.

For a more detailed view of how the current pension market affects your retirement income options, please complete our secure form to get connected to an independent financial advisor in your area.


Sweeping pension reforms announced as part of the annual budget, including removal of restrictions on access to your personal pension fund, raising of capped drawdown limit and a reduced minimum guaranteed income requirement for flexible drawdown.


A flat-rate state pension is announced, meaning those who are eligible for the state pension will receive the guaranteed amount of £114 per week. This is an increase from the previous weekly guarantee of £110.05.

The married person’s allowance is also to be axed, in order to save hundreds of millions of pounds in pay-outs to spouses living abroad.

Automatic enrolment rules as outlined in The Pensions Act 2008 come into effect from February 1st.


Automatic enrolment announced, forcing all companies to offer workplace pension schemes. Employees between 22 and state pension age must now opt out of their occupational pension scheme, rather than opting in. Roll out of this scheme will be staggered over several years.


Finance Act 2011 removes the requirement to buy an annuity by the age of 75. Flexible drawdown option introduced for those with a guaranteed income of at least £20,000 a year.


Increases to the state pension age are confirmed. Between April 2016 and November 2018 we will see a gradual increase to 65 years of age for women. This will rise to 66 by October 2020 for both men and women.


The Pensions Act 2008 introduced new rules for employers to follow. This includes automatically enrolling eligible jobholders into a pension enrolment scheme (with the option to opt out). If employees are already part of a pension scheme, their employer must maintain their membership and make relevant contributions.  


Pension Tax Simplification takes effect, allowing greater freedom in the tax relievable contributions that can be made to pension schemes, and the assets in which they can be invested. Individual pension caps are also introduced.


Pensions Act 2004 introduces new regulatory institutions; the Pension’s Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), offering additional protection and improved running of occupational pension schemes.


State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) replaced by Second State Pension (S2P), offering additional benefits to lower earners and people with long-term illness or disability.


Pensions Act 1995 introduces stronger regulations for occupational pensions, a minimum fund requirement and protection for existing pension scheme benefits to ensure they could not be reduced without member consent. First enhanced annuities for smokers launched.


Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPPs) set up by the UK government, allowing individuals to choose from a wider range of investment options to boost their personal pension savings.


Social Security Act broadens options for private pensions while introducing cutbacks on SERPS.


Social Security Pensions Act introduces the State Earnings Related Pensions Scheme (SERPS), a contribution-based scheme designed to help employees to generate a pension related to earnings in addition to the basic state pension.

Pre 1961


Graduated Pension Scheme is introduced, allowing employers who ran pension benefit schemes and their employees to enjoy a lower rate of national insurance contribution. This led to enormous growth in private sector pensions throughout the 60s and 70s.


A second National Insurance Act is passed, introducing a state-graduated retirement benefit scheme. This was the first time the state committed to providing pension benefits in return for earnings-related contributions from the employee and their employers, paid through the national insurance service.


The National Insurance Act introduces a universal contributory state pension, funded by National Insurance contributions from workers. This provided a pension of £1 6 shillings for a single person and £2 2 shillings for married couples.


The Old Age and Widows’ Pension Act sees pension age lowered to 60 for unmarried women and the wives of insured male pensioners.


The Contributory Pensions Act introduces a pension of 10 shillings per week from the age of 65 for manual workers and others earning up to £250 per year.


Old-Age Pensions Act is passed, providing a non-contributory old age pension for persons over the age of 70. This provision of 5 shillings a week was only available to applicants who passed a ‘good character test’, and excluded people on poor relief, ex-convicts, ‘lunatics’ and ‘drunkards’.


Get connected to an retirement specialist in your area and claim your free consultation.

Speak to an advisor today


If you have any questions or concerns, call us on 0800 008 6065 to speak to a member of our team.