How it works

CRISP is a Money Purchase pension scheme set up under a trust arrangement.  This means that your pension savings are held for you separately in a trust independent from your employer and that the value of your savings when you retire will depend on several factors including:

  • The amount of contributions paid.
  • The performance of your investments while you are saving.
  • The amount of pension scheme charges payable.
  • The age at which you access your benefits.
  • The costs involved in transferring or securing your benefits when you retire (for example, purchasing an annuity or moving to an income drawdown policy).

You and your employer pay contributions into CRISP and these are invested in funds that aim to increase in value over the long term, although there are no guarantees and any investment is subject to market fluctuations and can go down as well as up so you could get back less than has been paid in.

Normally, at any age between age 55 and 75, you can use your pension savings to provide your benefits.  You can usually take up to 25% of your pension savings as a tax-free cash lump sum, with the remainder being subject to income tax at your marginal rate.  You don't need to stop working to take your benefits, but doing so may mean that you could incur additional tax charges if you and your employer contribute more than £4,000 a year into a Money Purchase pension scheme going forwards and could also tip you into a higher tax bracket.

If you die before taking your benefits, your pension savings are normally paid as a cash lump sum, at the Trustees' discretion, to your nominated beneficiaries usually free from inheritance tax.  If you are an active employee, additional lump sum and spouse's/dependant's pension benefits may also be ayable.  It is important to keep Aviva updated on your nominated beneficiaries.

To cover the cost of running your CRISP Account and managing your investments, some charges apply that will be deducted from your savings.

The scheme annual management charge (AMC) covers the cost of running your CRISP Account.  It is a percentage of your Account value and is calculated daily and deducted monthly from your Account by selling fund units.  The AMC depends upon the investment fund that you choose to invest in.

The fund AMC is charged by fund managers for managing a fund.  Some funds incur additional expenses.

The CRISP Investment guide which can be found online at includes up-to-date information on all the investment funds available to CRISP members together with details of the investment charges and expenses.