Opening a bank account in Northern Ireland, types of account and all things pensions
Setting up a new bank account can be challenging and it is recommended that staff moving to work in Northern Ireland check with their existing bank to see if they have a relationship with a bank that has a presence in Northern Ireland as they may be able to assist you with setting up an account. It is recommended that you contact the bank and make an appointment to set up your account, checking in advance what documentation is required to enable you to open an account. Typically the documents you need are outlined below:
- Photographic ID
- Evidence of your UK address, (e.g. your tenancy agreement). If you do not have this, upon request the Human Resources Officer assisting with your appointment can issue you with a letter for your chosen bank to confirm your employment status etc.
- Proof of employment (e.g. your letter of appointment
Types of account
Most people use a current account with a bank or building society to manage their day-to-day money. It allows you to:
- Pay bills by Direct Debit or standing order
- Receive automated payments such as salary, wages or benefits
- Pay for things with a debit card and withdraw money from cashpoint machines
- Access to an overdraft, although this will need to be authorised by the bank
Some current accounts offer extra features for which they charge a fee (often between £10 and £15 per month). These are known as pacakaged accounts. Extras include:
- Special offers (e.g. preferential interest rates on overdrafts)
- Car breakdown cover, Insurance cover (e.g. travel or mobile phone insurance)
- Extra services
Fees, charges & overdrafts
Fees can vary a lot between banks and between accounts, with one of the highest fees being charged for going over your agreed overdraft limit. If you regularly spend more than you have in your account, choose one which will give you an overdraft up to an agreed limit without
charging fees and/ or with a low interest rate.
INTEREST RATES ON CREDIT BALANCES
Fees can vary a lot between banks and between accounts, with one of the highest fees being charged for going over your agreed overdraft limit. If you regularly spend more than you have in your account, choose one which will give you an overdraft up to an agreed limit without charging fees and/ or with a low interest rate.
Many banks offer deals to attract new customers, but be sure to check if there are strings attached. Look beyond any short-term offer and make sure that, when it ends, the account will still be the best for you. Examples of deals include a cash incentive.
DECIDING HOW YOU WANT TO DEAL WITH YOUR BANK
Do you like dealing with a person in a branch or would you prefer the convenience of telephone or Internet banking? Not all banks provide phone, Internet, mobile banking, postal and branch services so make sure you will be able to bank how you want to. If you like going into a branch, choosing a bank you can easily get to will be the most important factor. Check if there is a cashpoint machine that you can use free of charge near to where you live or work. Otherwise you might be charged between 75p and £10 for withdrawing money.
COMPARE DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS
Comparison websites are a good starting point for anyone trying to find a current account tailored to their needs. Some websites for comparing current accounts include:
- Money Saving Expert
- Money Supermarket
Remember, comparison websites will provide different results, so make sure you use more than one site before making a decision.
OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SCHEMES
A pension is a essentially a pot of cash that you, and your employer, can pay into as a way of saving up for your retirement. You get tax relief on this money. In your new role, you will be automatically enrolled in the HSC Pension Scheme, unless you choose to opt out of this. Pension Service administers the pension scheme offered by the Health Trusts in Northern Ireland and more information can be found on their website www.hscpensions.hscni.net.
General information about pensions is available free from some organisations where advisers can explain your pension options. For advice specific to what you need, you could speak to an authorised financial adviser, but you may have to pay for their advice.
General pension information is available from the Pensions Advisory Service, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Northern Ireland Pension Centre and charities. The Pensions Advisory Service provides free, confidential information about personal and workplace pension schemes. The FCA regulates financial services in the UK. It also produces free, easy-to –understand information on a wide range of topics including pensions