The best (retirement) gift for your child

With the cost of children’s birthday presents and parties often totalling hundreds – could there be a better way to provide for your child or grandchild?

Investing in a pension for your child can provide numerous long-term benefits and go some way in helping them secure a financially stable future. Setting up a pension for your child can also help teach them about the importance of saving and investing for the future.

Who can set up a child’s pension?

A parent or legal guardian can set up the pension; this can be done as soon as the child is born.

Who can contribute?

If you’re a grandparent keen to help out, the good news is that anyone can contribute into the pension, as well as godparents, relatives or friends. As a parent, you manage the pension saving plan until the child turns 18.

What happens when they turn 18?

Whilst they gain control at 18, they won’t be able to access the money until they reach the normal minimum pension age.

How much can we contribute?

Under current rules you can pay up to £2,880 into a children’s pension each year. This will then receive basic rate tax relief, so the government will boost this to £3,600. The majority of people setting up a children’s pension won’t pay this much in, instead choosing to make smaller contributions, which will still build up over time and benefit from tax relief.

Why choose a children’s pension?

It may seem odd thinking about a pension for your child when they are so young, but not only will it help your child later on in life when they think about retirement, but also help with the amount they might contribute into their pension during their lifetime, potentially freeing up more money to fund other life events.

What about a Junior ISA (JISA)?

Another worthwhile tax-efficient children’s saving option is a JISA. One key difference between children’s pensions and JISAs is that with the latter, your child can access the money when they turn 18. With any pension, the money can only be used to save for retirement.

The early bird

Investing in a pension plan for your child can provide them with the financial security they need to achieve their goals in the future. By starting early, they can benefit from compound interest and reinvested dividends, tax benefits, and the potential to grow their savings over time.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.