Halal Pensions in the UK
Muslims in the UK should avail of pensions available as they are very important to save for your retirement. Without a pension you can end up retiring into poverty and significantly reducing the quality of your life.
Your employer is also legally obliged to contribute to your pension as long as you continue contributing too. This is free money that the employer must give you which you would otherwise lose if you don’t take a pension.
In fact, approximately a third of Muslims in the UK do not have a pension and it will cost them £13 billion over the course of the next generation.
We have compiled some really simple resources below to get you started on your pension journey.
Why Should I have a Pension?
Is my Pension Halal?
- Here’s a really really simple guide.
- Is my workplace pension halal?
- Are defined benefit pensions halal?
- Here’s a compilation of different views on pensions
My Employer doesn’t offer a halal pension – what should I do?
- Print out this legal opinion and give it to your HR. Tell them that they are legally required to accommodate.
- For context, the Queens Counsel 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.
Where Can I get a Private Pension?
I am an Employer – What Should I do?
- Read the legal opinion carefully.
- The upshot is you should have not just 1 Islamic fund on your workplace pension scheme, but a few – just to give your Muslim employees a choice and the chance to diversify.
- Practically, you should call your pension provider and ask to have a few of the Islamic equity funds listed in our halal investment comparison added to your workplace pension.
- Popular and large funds include the HSBC Islamic Fund, the Aberdeen Islamic Fund, the Ishares Islamic funds.
- If your provider does not have Islamic funds available (you need at least 2 to have a legal leg to stand on) then you should consider switching your pension provider. Options Pensions are a reputable and large pension provider that offer multiple Islamic funds (and mainstream funds) you could consider. They are the pension provider we personally use for our own business.
What Have IFG Been Doing About This Issue and What More Needs to be Done?
- We conducted a survey of nearly 700 people and shared our worrying findings here.
- Raising awareness of the issue. We have written a detailed guide with this page that you are on and produced a Youtube video. We got an article in the Metro, Pension Expert (an FT publication) and the Arab News and now are preparing a full press release on the issue.
- We have privately worked pro bono with a few employees dealing with their HR in getting the issue resolved.
- We have obtained a legal opinion from Paul Newman QC – one of the foremost experts in pension law in the UK.
- We have spoken to the Cabinet Office Pension head and are liaising with the Pension Advisory Service to get something added to their website.
- We will also be working with the MCB and other organisations in the coming weeks to get their support and weight behind the campaign.
- What needs to be done is to properly engage government and parliamentarians on the issue.
- What also remains to be done is to lobby the largest pension providers to improve their coverage of Islamic funds.