Stakeholder pensions (SHP) are defined contribution pensions that the pension provider invests on your behalf. The value of the pension is based on how much is paid in and how the investments perform. Anyone can have a stakeholder pension regardless of whether they are permanently employed, self-employed or unemployed, and it provides a flexible way to save for retirement. The earliest you can withdraw from a stakeholder pension is usually when you turn 55. However, you should be able to move your funds to another stakeholder pension provider before then. You also don't need to be retired before taking out your stakeholder pension. Stakeholder pension schemes are less common now, as auto-enrolment has largely replaced them.