Personal finance: Parlez-vous Pension?

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The Independent Online
UNDERSTANDING YOUR pension is almost as difficult as learning a foreign language, according to a new survey.

Financial services group Colonial asked the UK public how much it understood about pension provision and came back with a resounding "Er..."

More than 75 per cent did not know that additional voluntary contributions related to pensions, and one in four thought they might be to do with credit cards or car insurance.

Understanding pensions is harder than programming the video, harder than using the Internet, harder than self-assembly furniture, the survey found.

But now there is a new Pensionish dictionary to help translate the jargon, to make sure you know the difference between UURBS and FURBS and can tell your assets from your elbow.

It answers all those frequently asked questions like:

n Why aren't COMPS free?

n Is a night at the OPRA good entertainment?

n Should I be scared of commitment to LISA?

And it does it in plain English, because the A-to-Z guide is compiled by the Plain English Campaign, who are usually found hectoring companies, Government bodies and Gordon Brown whenever they are caught speaking in tongues.

Campaign founder Chrissie Maher said she hoped people would use the new guide - the first of its kind - to decipher the jargon and become better informed when making crucial decisions on saving for their retirement.

"In putting together this guide, we were astounded by the amount of gobbledegook used in everyday pensions literature," she said.

A free copy of the booklet is available by emailing: or ringing 0800 828 552. It's as easy as AVC.