A pension is effectively a savings plan that is long-term. It is designed to help you save for your retirement and ensure that you can maintain your standard of living once you are no longer working, without having to worry about finances and bills.
Halal pensions are a Sharia compliant investment option for Muslims who do not want to compromise on their religious beliefs.
A halal pension is long-term savings plan that is compliant with Islamic rules relating to saving. Halal pensions are Sharia compliant.
Muslims are required to ensure that their money is managed and invested in a way that does not contravene the Sharia rules relating to finances, and this is why they look for halal pension products.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONVENTIONAL PENSION AND HALAL PENSION
As mentioned above, halal pensions are specifically geared towards Muslims, but can be utilised by anyone.
Halal pensions are different from traditional pension schemes as they each have different underlying principles and different investment strategies.
Many conventional pension schemes are not compliant with Sharia law and therefore not acceptable to Muslim savers.Halal pensions must have the following elements:
- No riba (interest)
- No maysir (gambling)
- No gharar (uncertainty)
In addition, halal pensions have a different management and market approach than traditional pension schemes. Halal pensions have to be managed in accordance with Islamic principles. These principles centre on the concepts of social and ethical responsibility which we will examine below.
Conventional pensions are more driven and focused on generating revenue and profits. The wealth and revenue growth of conventional pensions are often generated from risky or interest-based investment strategies.
KEY FEATURES OF HALAL PENSIONS
If you work in the public sector and pay into a workplace pension it is very likely that you have a defined benefit pension. You should ask your employer for information relating to your pension so you can assess whether it is a defined benefit pension. If it is, then the pension should be halal.
Always check to see what fund your pension monies are located in.The main features of a halal pension include the following:
- Compliance with Islam and Sharia rules: this is fairly obvious but any pension you have must not contravene any Sharia rules about finances. Whilst you have a choice about which pension fund to invest in, it is your responsibility to make sure you seek expert opinion and advice about the investment and the operations of the scheme.
- Prohibited investment: for a pension to be deemed to be halal, investors need to make sure the monies are not invested in haram industries (gambling, porn, alcohol etc)
- No interest: this is one of the underlying concepts in Islamic finance. Sharia rules and guidelines strictly prohibit the payment of receipt of any form of interest. You should be sure to avoid haram bonds or any other investment instrument that relies on interest.
- Ethics: investors are faced with the obligation to act in an ethical and socially responsible way. This means that investments must align with the core Islamic value of transparency and fairness. Investments must adhere to Sharia rules and guidelines relating to finances.
Halal pensions are designed to ensure that any investment is socially responsible and ethical. This is a fundamental principle of Islamic finance and must be adhered to.
Anyone who manages a halal pension needs to ensure that they do not invest in any industry, economy, market or product that would deemed to be unethical or haram under Islamic rules.
This means the pension monies cannot be invested in industries that are involved with gambling, porn, alcohol, and any other activities not permissible under Sharia rules.
Any profit or return from investment in these industries is haram
IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A HALAL PENSION FOR MUSLIMS
For Muslims, having a pension is an essential part of ensuring that they plan for their future.
Not only will having a pension provide you with an income for your future, but ensuring the pension is halal will increase its value for those who wish to remain Sharia compliant.
In the UK, you should have a workplace pension, and your employer is legally required to contribute to your pension fund.
In addition to this, it is always a good idea to think about having a private pension. The main benefit of this, other than having a second pension pot, is that you can direct which pension fund to invest in and you have more of a say about where your pension is invested.
Having a halal pension means you have a savings plan that aligns with the ethical and religious values of Islam.
KEY BENEFITS OF HAVING A HALAL PENSION
Some of the benefits of having a halal pension include the following:
- Compliance with Sharia law
- Alignment of personal values with financial planning strategies
- Accessibility to ethical investments
- Saving for retirement
The popularity of halal pensions is growing in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Not only are they aimed at Muslims looking for Sharia compliant saving and pension plans, but they also attract ethical investors.
The number of banks and financial organisations offering halal pensions is increasing. Before approaching any organisation offering halal pension products you should always satisfy yourself that they are sufficiently registered and regulated by the FCA. You should also make sure the bank is fully aware of the rules relating to Islamic finance.
Please note that Qardus Limited does not provide financial advice.