We get this question a lot – particularly since we launched our #wheresmymuslimpension campaign.
People are not sure if their pension is actually halal or not.
So here’s a really really simple guide to help you navigate this.
Are you in a public sector job?
Yes – great your pension is almost certainly halal as it will be a defined benefit (also called final salary) pension. Just double-check with your HR team on this and confirm that this is indeed the type of pension you have. If they tell you you have a defined contribution pension then you need to go to step 2. Otherwise you’re done.
No – okay read on.
Do you know what pension funds your money is in?
Yes – okay great. Go to Step 3.
No – find out. Ask HR. Login to your pension portal. Dig out the papers you got send when you first joined. Do what you have to do.
Does the pension fund your money is in have “islamic” or “sharia” in the name?
Yes – Great you have a halal pension. All done.
No – You probably don’t have a halal pension. Go to Step 4.
Can you log on/call someone and switch to an Islamic fund?
Yes – do that.
No – ask HR to add an Islamic fund to the workplace pension. If they agree, great. If not, read on.
This is where the boxing gloves and legalistic emails come out.
You can try first yourself – tell them that the employer needs to make sure you are properly provided a pension and without an Islamic pension they are doing something against the law. Also, it is contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and a case of indirect discrimination.
We have now paid £10,000 for a top pension barrister QC to issue a legal opinion. Print that off and give it to your HR/employer and tell them that they are legally obligated to make halal pension provisions for you.
For context, the Barrister who issued this legal advice is one of the foremost authorities in pensions law in the UK. What he says on this subject has real credibility.
We paid £10,000 for this legal opinion as we think it is that important for the Muslim community. If you would like to contribute to this cause – that will save Muslims £13bn in the next few decades – then please feel free to donate your little bit. £20, £50, or £150.
If that legal opinion doesn’t work, drop us a line. We’ll help iA.
Once you have a halal pension, buy some rasmalai and send it to us.
Ibrahim holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford, an Alimiyyah degree from the Al Salam Institute, and an MA in Islamic Finance. He was previously a private equity/venture funds lawyer in the City. He is the co-founder of Islamicfinanceguru.
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