Ask the Expert: I’m in my mid-30s – what’s the best personal pension scheme for me?

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green - Credit: Archant

Our reader this week wants to know how to invest an inheritance in a personal pension – and which scheme to choose. Carl Lamb of Almary Green provides the answers.

Planning ahead can help to ensure you get what you need from your pension. Picture: Getty Images/iSt

Planning ahead can help to ensure you get what you need from your pension. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I am in my mid-thirties and have just inherited a legacy from my great aunt of £75,000.

She's also left me a letter in which she asks me to invest this into a pension scheme so I have something for my retirement.

I'm employed so have begun to build up pension through my employer's scheme but I'm happy to follow her wishes (although I might spend a little of it on a new car).

How should I go about deciding on what pension scheme to choose?

Almary Green response

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It's usually a good idea to open a personal pension in which to put any contributions you can afford so that your workplace pension is supplemented when you retire.

I'm afraid I can't give you a specific suggestion as to which provider/funds you should use: I would only do so as part of a full advice service where we look at your needs, objectives and expectations in tandem with your risk profile.

What I will say is that it is important to bear all these factors in mind and to ensure that whatever pension platform and funds you select are suitable for your circumstances.

It's also important to look at the costs involved – advice, administration and fund management fees.

One point I should make is that under pension rules, you can only contribute a maximum of £40,000 per year to pension schemes and benefit from the tax relief available.

This figure includes your own contributions plus any employer or third party contributions.

If the total contribution to all your schemes is more than the annual allowance, you could lose the tax relief on the excess and be subject to an annual allowance charge.

However, if you've put less than the annual allowance into your scheme over the past three years, it may be possible to carry forward unused annual allowance from up to three tax years, although the current year's allowance must be used first.

This is explained in more detail on the government website at

This means that you could potentially contribute a larger amount in the current year up to April 5 and then the remainder once the new tax year begins.