A pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years, from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments. A pension may be a "defined benefit plan" where a fixed sum is paid to a person, or a "defined contribution plan" under which a fixed sum is invested and becomes available at retirement age. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the terms "retirement plan" and "superannuation" tend to refer to a pension granted upon retirement of the individual. Retirement plans may be set up by employers, insurance companies, the government or other institutions such as employer associations or trade unions. Called retirement plans in the United States, they are known as pension schemes in the United Kingdom and Ireland and superannuation plans in Australia and New Zealand. Retirement pensions are in the form of a guaranteed life annuity, thus insuring against the risk of longevity. A pension created by an employer for the benefit of an employee is referred to as an occupational or employer pension.
Labor unions, the government, or other organizations may fund pensions. Occupational pensions are a form of deferred compensation advantageous to employee and employer for tax reasons. Many pensions contain an additional insurance aspect, since they will pay benefits to survivors or disabled beneficiaries. Other vehicles may provide a similar stream of payments; the common use of the term pension is to describe the payments a person receives upon retirement under pre-determined legal or contractual terms. A recipient of a retirement pension is known as a retiree. A retirement plan is an arrangement to provide people with an income during retirement when they are no longer earning a steady income from employment. Retirement plans require both the employer and employee to contribute money to a fund during their employment in order to receive defined benefits upon retirement, it is a tax deferred savings vehicle that allows for the tax-free accumulation of a fund for use as a retirement income. Funding can be provided in other ways, such as from labor unions, government agencies, or self-funded schemes.
Pension plans are therefore a form of "deferred compensation". A SSAS is a type of employment-based Pension in the UK; some countries grant pensions to military veterans. Military pensions are overseen by the government. Ad hoc committees may be formed to investigate specific tasks, such as the U. S. Commission on Veterans' Pensions in 1955–56. Pensions may extend past the death of the veteran himself, continuing to be paid to the widow. Many countries have created funds for their citizens and residents to provide income when they retire; this requires payments throughout the citizen's working life in order to qualify for benefits on. A basic state pension is a "contribution based" benefit, depends on an individual's contribution history. For examples, see National Insurance in the UK, or Social Security in the United States of America. Many countries have put in place a "social pension"; these are tax-funded non-contributory cash transfers paid to older people. Over 80 countries have social pensions.
Some are universal benefits, given to all older people regardless of income, assets or employment record. Examples of universal pensions include New Zealand Superannuation and the Basic Retirement Pension of Mauritius. Most social pensions, are means-tested, such as Supplemental Security Income in the United States of America or the "older person's grant" in South Africa; some pension plans will provide for members in the event they suffer a disability. This may take the form of early entry into a retirement plan for a disabled member below the normal retirement age. Retirement plans may be classified as defined benefit or defined contribution according to how the benefits are determined. A defined benefit plan guarantees a certain payout at retirement, according to a fixed formula which depends on the member's salary and the number of years' membership in the plan. A defined contribution plan will provide a payout at retirement, dependent upon the amount of money contributed and the performance of the investment vehicles utilized.
Hence, with a defined contribution plan the risk and responsibility lies with the employee that the funding will be sufficient through retirement, whereas with the defined benefit plan the risk and responsibility lies with the employer or plan managers. Some types of retirement plans, such as cash balance plans, combine features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, they are referred to as hybrid plans. Such plan designs have become popular in the US since the 1990s. Examples include Cash Pension Equity plans. A traditional defined benefit plan is a plan in which the benefit on retirement is determined by a set formula, rather than depending on investment returns. Government pensions such as Social Security in the United States are a type of defined benefit pension plan. Traditionally, defined benefit plans for employers have been administered by institutions which exist for that purpose, by large businesses, or, for government workers, by the government itself. A traditional form
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K