BEST IELTS General Reading Test 404

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 404


IELTS General Reading Test



Read the text below and answer Questions 15-21.

Workplace Pensions

A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement that’s arranged by the business that provides you with work. A percentage of your pay is put into the pension scheme automatically every payday. In most cases, your employer and the government also add money into the pension scheme for you. The money is used to pay you a taxable income for the rest of your life when you start getting the pension.

You can usually take some of your workplace pension as a tax-free lump sum when you retire. If the amount of money you’ve saved is quite small, you may be able to take it all as a lump sum. 25% is tax free, but you’ll have to pay Income Tax on the rest. You can’t usually take the money out before you’re 59 at the earliest, unless you’re seriously ill and you’ll need documentation for this to happen.

IELTS General Reading Test

There are two main types of workplace pension. Your employer decides which type of scheme you are offered.

Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

These are also known as ‘money purchase’ schemes. The money is invested by a pension provider chosen by your employer. The amount you get when you retire usually depends on how much has been paid in, how long you’ve been paying in and how well the investment has done. The fund balance can go up or down in the short-term, but pensions usually grow more than savings accounts over the long-term.

IELTS General Reading Test

Some schemes gradually move your money into lower-risk investments as you get nearer to retirement age. You may be able to ask for this if it doesn’t happen automatically – ask your pension provider for more details. The pension provider usually takes a small percentage of your pension pot as a management fee. Check the documents your employer gives you or ask them if you want to know how much this will be.

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

These are also known as ‘final salary’ or ‘salary-related’ pensions. They promise to give you a certain amount each year when you retire. How much you get doesn’t rely on how much you contribute over the duration of the policy. The amount you’ll get depends on your salary and on how long you’ve worked for your employer. The pension scheme administrator can give you more details in writing or face-to-face.

IELTS General Reading Test

The government has put in place a number of controls to minimise the risks to pensions. How your pension is protected depends on the type of pension. Defined contribution schemes are usually run by pension providers, not employers. You won’t lose your pension pot if your employer goes out of business. For defined benefit pension schemes, your employer is responsible for making sure there’s enough money in the pension fund to pay each member the promised amount. Your employer can’t touch the money in your pension if they’re in financial trouble. You’re usually protected by insurance if they go out of business and can’t pay your pension.

If you change jobs, your workplace pension still belongs to you. If you don’t carry on paying into the scheme, the money will still be invested and you’ll get a pension when you reach the scheme’s pension age. You can join another workplace scheme if you get a new job. If you do, you may be able to carry on making contributions to your old pension or combine the old and new pension schemes. Ask your pension providers for some advice about your various options.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 15 – 21

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the text?

In boxes 15 – 21 on your answer sheet write:

YES – if the statement agrees with the writer’s views

NO – if the statement doesn’t agree the writer’s views

NOT GIVEN – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

15. Workplace pensions are organised by people’s employers.

16. Incomes taken from pensions at retirement are tax free.

17. Defined contribution pension schemes are protected from losing value.

IELTS General Reading Test

18. Pension funds on retirement in final salary pensions depend on the success of investments made over the period of the pension’s life.

19. Defined benefit pension schemes run by companies that go bankrupt are usually safeguarded by insurance.

20. The government is not allowed to make changes to tax law that affect existing workplace pensions.

21. If you get a new workplace pension in a new job, you will have to keep both going simultaneously until retirement.

IELTS General Reading Test

Read the text below and answer Questions 22-27.

Taking Payments

This has to be the one thing that all businesses have in common. Working out the best way to accept money for the goods or services you provide in the easiest and most cost effective manner is the key to good cash flow and healthy liquidity. Mastering this important process can ensure your business’ success.

Cheques Although these are on the way out, it is still important to be able to accept this method of payment. There are some safeguards to take note of, however, as bad or bounced cheques are expensive and annoying and can lead to being swindled. For retail, always get the payers to show you a photo ID and to sign the back of the cheque in front of you. Ask for two ID’s if you’re suspicious. Get the home address and telephone number as well. Examine the cheque too, as today it’s easy to forge a cheque. Your bank can still give you advice on what to look for when examining a suspicious cheque.

IELTS General Reading Test

Credit and Debit Cards Both credit and debit cards are very useful for taking most types of payments. They are increasingly popular due to their convenience and accepting these cards is a must for retail and very helpful for larger businesses. Businesses will make more sales, as customers are more likely to impulse buy when they have a card, as most people don’t carry too much cash on them. They’re better than cheques for cash flow too, as you don’t have to wait for cheques to clear.

Payments by card also cut down on employee theft, as cash is always vulnerable. Although credit and debit cards look similar, credit cards have more costs involved. Both have set up fees, equipment costs and monthly statement fees, but the commission on each sale for credit cards is bigger. Processing small amounts can still incur relatively high fees, so you might want to levy a small charge to your customer to cover yourself.

IELTS General Reading Test

Specialist Web Payments Not everyone sells online nowadays, but it’s extremely common. Apart from card payments, various companies offer payment services (we will avoid giving big brand names here). These payment service companies allow people to use traditional cards or people can have accounts and debit them as they would their bank accounts.

The advantages of these companies for retailers are that they do not charge a monthly fee and the set up is simple and cheap. The only costs are a percentage commission on purchases. For customers, payment is free. This makes lots of people use these services and therefore it’s more important to be able to accept them. Most web developers will be able to set up these payment services for you.

IELTS General Reading Test

Biometrics The payment system of the future? Biometrics involves consumers registering their fingerprints with outlets that have the technology. The payment is done by fingerprint and the account is debited accordingly. Often, the system uses the safer two-factor authentication, in which the finger scan takes the place of the card swipe and the user types in a PIN as usual. There are no more worries about forgetting or losing your purse or wallet and fraud is currently impossible. The only problem factor is keeping your chosen finger in good shape – no paper cuts or dry and cracked skin!

Mobile Phone Payments Smart phones with an appropriate app are able to make and accept payments. This also will be a very common way to pay in the future, as phones have become the all in one communications and business tool that everyone uses. Early worries about fraud have been discounted, as a PIN is also needed for any kind of outgoing payment. There are some ongoing worries about security, but it seems as though the developers are developing safer and safer systems.

IELTS General Reading Test

Questions 22 – 27

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the text for each answer. 

22. If you want to still accept cheques, observe some simple …………….. in order to be protected against fraud.

23. …………….. by the workforce is greatly reduced if customers pay by card rather than with cash.

24. Credit cards are more expensive than debit cards due to the higher …………….. charged on every purchase.

IELTS General Reading Test

25. As specialist web payment companies charge no …………….., they are very attractive to online retailers.

26. Biometric payment using …………….. in conjunction with a PIN offers greater security than just using fingerprints.

27. The correct …………….. must be on a smart phone to do a mobile phone payment.

IELTS General Reading Test


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BEST IELTS General Reading Test 404

IELTS General Reading Test


15. YES

16. NO

17. NO

18. NO

19. YES


21. NO






27. APP

IELTS General Reading Test

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