skip to main content

Only 28% of musicians currently have a workplace pension and only 14% have a pension of any other kind, according to the Musicians' Census undertaken in 2023. If you are looking at a pension as a way of ensuring financial security later in life, there will be a number of things to consider dependent upon your working practices and employment history.

State Pension

The State Pension is a government scheme. In order to qualify for any state pension, you need to have at least 10 years of National Insurance records and 35 years of National Insurance records to receive the full State Pension. You won't receive the State Pension until you reach the State Pension age. This is currently 66 years old but will rise to 67 before the end of 2028 and may be raised again in future.

UK Government also provides an online tool which allows you to see a forecast of your State Pension.

Workplace pensions

Since October 2012 it has been law for workplaces to offer a workplace pension scheme and auto-enrol employees and workers in the scheme. There are certain limitations to this requirement.

If you are currently, or have historically been, a member of a workplace pension scheme you are entitled to contact the scheme organiser to request information about your contributions to-date and a forecast of the amount this might provide you annually following retirement.

Find out more about your employment status or whether you qualify for auto-enrolment in a workplace pension scheme, or speak to your Regional Office.

Personal pensions   

If you are self-employed you may wish to start a personal pension. The pension is administered by a provider who invests any money you contribute. The value of the overall pension pot can go down as well as up, but you are entitled to receive regular updates on the value and make decisions about how your money is invested should you wish to. Personal pensions usually have flexibility to permit either defined regular contributions or ad hoc one-off contributions which may align better with your earning pattern. Personal pension schemes usually allow tax relief on contributions.

Your rights when an employer seeks to change your pension

View our seperate advice page for members on workplace pension changes and variations, based on guidance from the UK Pensions Regulator.

The MU Pension Scheme (MUPS)

MU members are able to join a pension scheme (MUPS) which is administered by Hencilla Canworth GI. Under the scheme musicians can sometimes receive a pension contribution from their engager when they work under one of the MU’s collective bargaining agreements as well as making their own personal contributions.

Please note, the above information is for general guidance only. The MU is not registered to provide independent financial advice. If you require specific advice about a pension you currently hold or are thinking about opening a pension scheme it is important you seek independent financial advice. The Money & Pensions Service can provide additional guidance. 

Get a membership that suits your budget

MU membership is essential to your work as a musician, especially during the cost of living crisis. Explore the different membership rates we offer and make it work within your budget.

Explore membership rates

Get a membership that suits your budget