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The lifecycle of an international athlete - Important pension considerations

Pension written in block letters on money
Wednesday, 16 August 2023 By Clare Coley

This is the fifth in Penningtons Manches [Cooper]’s series of blogs addressing the key legal issues that international athletes and their advisors should consider before coming to work in the UK.

Pensions expert Clare Coley looks at the importance of pensions savings. This is in the context of professional athletes having a relatively short career and therefore needing to manage their finances carefully in order to provide for a future after retirement from professional sport.

Athletes coming to the UK from abroad should actively consider their options for pension saving in this country, prior to moving here. Pensions should be regarded as part of their overall wealth management and savings strategies. There is a lot to play for!

This information is directed chiefly at those who will have long-term stays in the UK (e.g. footballers staying under a five-year contract). For shorter visits, pension savings may not be particularly lucrative but may still generate some retirement benefits (and may be provided automatically).

Pensions are a highly complicated area and there are many important issues to consider. This article considers:

  • What sort of pension arrangements are available in the UK?
  • What if I already have pension savings because I have worked in the UK before?
  • Examples: pensions for footballers and rugby players.
  • When, under whatever pension scheme I join, can I take my benefits?
  • Where can I go to take further advice?

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Written by

Clare Coley

Clare Coley

Clare, a senior associate in Penningtons Manches’ pensions team, specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters with an emphasis on claims prevention. She is a member of the Association of Pensions Lawyers and the Employment Lawyers Association and has been noted as ‘one to watch’ in Chambers UK.

Clare provides advice to sports professionals for their typically shorter careers and guidance for pension saving and retirement plans.

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