Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.
You most certainly are and you will receive tax relief on your contributions by paying premiums net whilst you provider claims the tax at the basic rate from HMRC. You should be aware of the following two points. Firstly the aggregate of your and any contribution made by your employer should not to exceed 40K in the current tax year. Secondly you should be careful not to allow your pension pot to exceed 1.25m. Failure to adhere to these limits can have heavy tax consequences.
I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.
Have you considered the possibility of making Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) into your CS pension scheme?
Some pensions providers will allow erratic contributions to their schemes, but you will have to shop around.
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The present problem with all private pension schemes is that the annuity rate, through the overall fall in interest rates, are equally small. I was lucky, i had a guaranteed annuity rate on one of my private pension schemes, but remember such largesse took Equitable Life to the wall. I think that you will find that the 'added pension contribution' is, effectively, an AVC. i can understand your concern, you pay in large sums and receive peanuts in return.
The tax relief on pension contributions is not at 25%, but at your marginal rate of tax providing your plus your employer's do not exceed the annual contribution limit and your pot remains within the lifetime allowance. Both these schemes became increasingly unpopular with the advent of private pension schemes.
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Delighted to have been of assistance.
Thank you for your support.