Contributions Calculator

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Contribution Calculator

How much does it cost you?

Because of the tax and potential NI relief, your contributions might cost you less than you think. Plus, the company's contribution means that the amount going into your Account is significantly more than the actual cost to you. This is calculated below.

You pay:
Tax and NI relief means you save:
So the amount going into your Account:
Plus the amount contributed to your Account by the Company
This means, for the amount you end up paying, you get a monthly total of:

Please note that the contribution calculator is for illustration purposes only. It assumes that you do not participate in any other salary sacrifice arrangements and it does not include any other taxable income you might receive. The actual tax and National Insurance savings you receive may differ from the figures shown above.

This calculator assumes tax relief on England, Wales and Northern Ireland income tax bands and will be different if you’re resident in Scotland.


The value of your Personal Account at retirement will depend on how much is paid into it, how your investments grow, and when you decide to retire. Deciding how much to pay in can be difficult, so here are a couple of key points to keep in mind.

  1. A little money paid in now has the most potential to grow. This is because it will be invested for longer. Imagine that from the age of 30 you stopped buying a £2.50 cup of coffee every day and saved that money in your Personal Account instead. That £2.50 a day could mean an extra £912.50 saved every year, or £31,937.50 by the time you retire at age 65. If you also assume some investment growth, for illustration purposes say 5% each year, it could be worth over £80,000 when you reach age 65.
  2. Make sure you are getting the maximum contribution from AXA, as you may be able to get more from AXA by increasing your contributions.  You can find out what your rates and AXA’s rates are in the Scheme Guide.

You can see the effects of changing your contributions by going to the MyPath modeller on the Aegon site.

How much you should be contributing depends on what kind of lifestyle you’d like in retirement, and how much you’ll need to save to reach your goal. For further information and help with planning for your retirement, visit our retirement planning section.

You can pay extra contributions to the Scheme to increase your pension savings. How you do this depends on your employer. 

AXA UK, Insurance, PPP, AXA Global Healthcare, AXA Tech, Architas, AXA Group Solutions, AXA Africa Speciality Risks Services and AXA Ireland

There are several ways that you can increase how much you pay into the Scheme, outlined below. You also have the option to switch to the 2017 section, which may give you the chance to receive a higher contribution from AXA. For more information visit the FAQS.

Pension top up

This is where you agree to give up part of your pay and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. Because AXA makes the contribution for you, you do not pay income tax or National Insurance on it.

If you are in the 2017 Section, if you choose to increase your contributions AXA will match your contribution up to a maximum level. Please see the Member Guide for more details. If you’re not sure which section you’re in, take a look at the FAQs.

You can opt for pension top up each month during the flex window on the Max site.

For AXA Ireland employees please complete the 2008 Section pension top up form

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you wish to make an additional single payment (unless it’s a bonus sacrifice – see below) this is classed as a lump sum AVC. You get income tax relief on any AVCs that you pay, however you won’t receive any National Insurance savings.

To pay an AVC you will need to log into the Max site or complete a lump sum AVC option form if your work for AXA Ireland.

Please note that you can’t receive tax relief on contributions in excess of your earnings in a tax year and you only receive higher rate tax relief to the extent that you have paid it.

Bonus sacrifice

Like with pension top up, you can agree to give up some or all of your bonus and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. This arrangement will allow you to benefit from tax and National Insurance savings and AXA will also boost your contribution by 10%.

Investment Managers and Liabilities Managers

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

You can pay either regular or one off AVCs. AVCs are eligible for tax relief but you can’t receive tax relief on contributions in excess of your earnings in a tax year and you only receive higher rate tax relief to the extent that you have paid it.

To set up a regular AVC, complete the regular AVC form. You will need to make a payment of at least 1% of your salary each month, and payments must be whole percentages of your salary.  

If you wish to make additional single payment lump sums (unless it’s a bonus sacrifice – see below), you will need to complete a lump sum AVC option form.

Bonus sacrifice

You can agree to give up some or all of your bonus and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. This arrangement will also allow you to benefit from tax and NI savings. 

AXA Health Services (ICAS), Health-on-Line and PHC

Pension top up

This is where you agree to give up part of your pay and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. Because AXA makes the contribution for you, you do not pay income tax or NI on it.

You can set up a pension top up by completing the Pension Top Up form.

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you wish to make an additional single payment this is classed as a Lump Sum AVC. You get income tax relief on any AVCs that you pay, however you won’t receive any NI savings.

To pay an AVC you will need to complete a lump sum AVC option form and return this to payroll.

Please note that you can’t receive tax relief on contributions in excess of your earnings in a tax year and you only receive higher rate tax relief to the extent that you have paid it.

AXA XL

There are several ways that you can increase how much you pay into the Scheme

Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

You can pay either regular or one off AVCs. AXA will match your contribution on regular AVCs, up to a maximum of 3%.

AVCs are eligible for tax relief but you can’t receive tax relief on contributions in excess of your earnings in a tax year and you only receive higher rate tax relief to the extent that you have paid it.

To set up a regular AVC, complete the regular AVC form. You will need to make a payment of at least 1% of your salary each month, and payments must whole percentages of your salary.  

If you wish to make additional single payment lump sums (unless it’s a bonus sacrifice – see below), you will need to complete a lump sum AVC option form.

Pension top up

This is where you agree to give up part of your pay and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. Because AXA makes the contribution for you, you do not pay income tax or National Insurance on it. You can set up a pension top up by completing the Pension Top Up form.

Bonus sacrifice

Like with pension top up, you can agree to give up some or all of your bonus and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. This arrangement will allow you to benefit from tax and National Insurance savings and AXA will also boost your contribution by 13.8% (the saving we make in employer National Insurance). 

PPP Taking Care

Pension top up

This is where you agree to give up part of your pay and AXA then pays this amount to the Scheme on your behalf. Because AXA makes the contribution for you, you do not pay income tax or NI on it. AXA may also increase the amount it contributes to the Scheme if you elect to pension top up and joined before 1 April 2018.

For further information and to increase your contribution please see the PPP Taking Care contribution form.

 

AXA UK, Insurance, PPP, AXA Global Healthcare, AXA Tech, Architas, AXA Group Solutions, AXA Africa Speciality Risks Services and AXA Ireland

If you’re not sure which section you’re in, take a look at the FAQs.

2008 Section

If you are in the 2008 Section and don’t want to pay in the standard amount, you can opt to lower your contributions. You can reduce your contribution to the Scheme down to the value shown below for your age. However, this means AXA will also pay in less.

Minimum contributions (as a % Pensionable Salary) 
 Age      Minimum contributions            Company contributions       
 Up to 24 1% 3% 
25-34 1.5% 5.5%
 35-44 2% 8%
 45-54 2.5% 10.5%
 55+ 3%      13%    

Remember to review your contribution rate regularly, and to consider increasing your contributions when you can afford to. To change your standard contributions, please complete and return the AXA UK Pension contribution form to your local Payroll department.

2017 Section

If you are in the 2017 Section and you’re paying additional contributions then you can choose to reduce them if you can no longer afford it. The table below shows the contribution rates you can choose from, plus the amount that AXA will pay in. If you aren’t paying any voluntary contributions then you are already paying contributions at the lowest level required by the Scheme.

Contributions (as a % Pensionable Salary) 
     Employee contributions            Company contributions       
3% 6% 
4% 7%
5% 8%
6% 9%
7%      10%    
 8% 11%
 9% and above   12% (maximum company contributions)

 

You can change your contribution rate by logging on to the Max site.

 

Opting out

You do have the option to opt-out of the Scheme. However, if you do this:

  • You will miss out on money from AXA in the form of contributions to your pension
  • Your life cover will reduce from 10x salary to 4x salary
  • If you opt out of the 2008 Section you will lose the ‘total incapacity’ ill health benefit only available to active members of the Scheme


AXA XL, Investment Managers and Liabilities Managers

If you’re paying voluntary contributions then you can choose to reduce them if you can no longer afford it. Please contact your local HR for further information.

If you aren’t paying any voluntary contributions then there is no cost to being in the Scheme, as AXA makes pension contributions on your behalf.

AXA Health Services (ICAS), Health-on-Line, PPP Taking Care and PHC

You can opt out of the Scheme, but if you do this you will lose all of the company contributions paid into your Personal Account by AXA. Please think very carefully about the impact this will have on your retirement planning.

There are limits on how much you can save into a pension without incurring a tax charge: the annual and lifetime allowances. 

For most people the limits will not have an impact. However, if any of the following apply, you will need to consider the tax limits carefully:

  1. You’re thinking about taking any of your Personal Account  as a taxable lump sum payment or start receiving income from a drawdown arrangement, but are not planning to retire from work - see money purchase annual allowance
  2. You’re thinking about paying in £40,000 or more over one tax year - see annual allowance
  3. You have a high gross annual income (above £110,000 p.a.) - see tapered annual allowance
  4. Your total pension savings from all pension arrangements  exceeds £750,000 - see lifetime allowance
     

For more information on the tapered annual allowance and the lifetime allowance, please see the presentation by Willis Towers Watson.

If you think you are impacted by these allowances please contact the AXA pensions team.


Annual allowance

The annual allowance is the maximum amount of money both you and AXA can pay into your pension each tax year. This includes any contributions you make to other pension schemes (i.e. if you have a personal pension plan). If you go above the annual allowance you will have to pay a tax charge on the excess. For the 2018/19 tax year the annual allowance is £40,000 for most people

You can carry forward unused annual allowance from previous years. This is useful if you have one year where you want to make a one off, large payment to your pension, for example, if you are made redundant and choose to put some of your redundancy payment in the Scheme. If you need to know more about this, please contact the AXA Pensions Team.

Lifetime allowance

This is the maximum amount of pension savings that you can build up during your lifetime without having to pay a tax charge when taking the benefits.

The lifetime allowance is currently set at £1.03m for the 2018/19 tax year. This is due to increase in line with inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) in future years. If your overall pension savings (excluding the State Pension) are above this amount when you take the benefits you will pay a tax charge on the excess.

If you have a previous defined benefit (final salary) pension, to calculate how much of the lifetime allowance this uses up, you need to times the pension by 20 and add any tax-free cash you choose to take. You will then need to add this figure to the combined fund value of any defined contribution pensions you have, to work out how much of the lifetime allowance you have taken up.

You might have the option to apply to protect your benefits from the lifetime allowance, to find out more go to www.gov.uk/guidance/pension-schemes-protect-your-lifetime-allowance.

Money purchase annual allowance

The maximum amount of money both you and AXA can pay into your pension each tax year is known as the annual allowance. If you take money out of a money purchase pension (for example as a taxable cash lump sum or as income from a drawdown arrangement, but not to buy an annuity), you will have a reduced annual allowance. This is known as the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA).

Please note that the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) for the tax year 2018/19 is £4,000.

For more information about drawdown, cash lump sums and annuities, go to the Retirement options section of the site.

Tapered annual allowance

There is a special tapered annual allowance for high earners. This will only apply to you if your taxable income for the year is over £110,000 and your taxable income plus the pension contributions, paid by you and your employer, are over £150,000.

If you exceed these limits your annual allowance is reduced by £1 for every £2 you are over the £150,000 limit, up to a maximum reduction of £30,000, leaving an annual allowance of £10,000.

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