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Pensions Terminology

Pensions Terminology is a glossary of terms which is produced in conjunction with the Pensions Research Accountants Group (PRAG).

Its purpose is to encourage all pensions professionals to speak the same language. It is revised and updated periodically and the current (eighth) edition was launched in June 2011.  It is now recognised as a standard reference work.

If you have any comments regarding Pensions Terminology contact the Qualifications Department at qualifications@pensions-pmi.org.uk


The Eighth edition of Pensions Terminology is available at £20 per copy or £15 per copy when ordering ten or more. It can also be bought as a pdf file for individual or company intranet use. For further details and to download a copy of the order form please contact qualifications@pensions-pmi.org.uk

Pensions Terminology (Eighth Edition) is sponsored by Willis Towers Watson.

Willis Towers


Copyright to Pensions Terminology has been ceded by PRAG to The Pensions Management Institute in recognition of our educational role. Attention of users is drawn to the existence of this copyright, but as both organisations are anxious to encourage standardisation of terminology for all those associated with pensions, the use of definitions of individual terms is encouraged.

Reproduction of larger sections will normally be permitted on application, provided that such use is acknowledged.


Neither PRAG, nor the members of any working party or committee thereof, can accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever (whether in respect of negligence or otherwise) to any pension scheme trustee or member or third party, wherever situate, as a result of anything contained in or omitted from this publication nor the consequences of reliance or otherwise on the content of this publication.

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This will be band of gross annual earnings on which contributions for the purposes of [automatic enrolment] are calculated. This will be from ¶œ7,475 up to and including ¶œ33,540. Qualifying earnings are a worker's salary, wages, overtime, bonuses and commission, as well as statutory sick, maternity, paternity or adption pay.

The relevant statutory provison is s13 of PA2008.


The minimum level of earnings required to earn State Pension for a tax year. Equal to 52 times the weekly [lower earnings limit] for the year.


An event which meets the requirements set out in PA2004 legislation establishing the [Pension Protection Fund].

The relevant statutory provisions are s121 of PA2004 and Regulation 5 of SI 2005(2153) - PPF (Entry Rules) Regulations.


A specialist Irish Investment Fund, commonly used for regulated alternative investments. They can be established as an Investment Company or Unit Trust.

The main advantage of QIF is the removal of the Irish Financial Regulator's general conditions relating to investment policy and borrowing, enabling the structure to be used for a wide variety of investment purposes. These may include [Alternative Investments], including [Hedge Funds], [Private equity] Funds and InfrastructureFunds.


See [waiting period].


An [overseas pension scheme] that satisfies certain [HMRC] requirements in relation to transfers.

See also the list of QROPS on the HMRC website.


A pension scheme that meets certain minimum standards precribed in PA2008 for the purpose of [automatic enrolement]. There are different quality standards depending on the type of scheme.


The term defined in s71(7) PSA93 denoting the period of employment to be taken into account to entitle the [member] to [short service benefit].

The current condition is for at least two years' qualifying service.

See also [linked qualifying service].


A year in which an individual has paid, or is treated as having National Insurance contributions.


A method of assessing investments which relies exclusively upon screening of selected statistical data, as opposed to [fundamental analysis].

Considerations may include the value of assets, the cost of capital and projected and historical sales.

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