The new pension freedoms have given pension fund owners far greater flexibility and access than ever before. With these new retirement benefit freedoms comes responsibility to ensure that your largest asset in used wisely.
Pension funds can now be converted to cash at retirement in full or in part, fund a flexible level of ongoing income or be passed down to your spouse, children or grandchildren as a legacy asset – choices unheard of previously. And, with these new choices comes the need for professional advice to guide you through the range of options available.
After planning for security and comfort in your retirement, and having spent years building up your nest egg, it’s important to get the most from your pension fund. Our advisers will help you consider the benefits of each of the options and investment opportunities available to you.
An investment portfolio is likely to be ideal for your Pension Fund Flexi-Access Drawdown Account. Our advisers will help you understand your own attitude to risk before recommending an investment portfolio that is ideally suited to you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Retirement Planning
Pension funds are long term savings plans and build value the longer they are invested. There is a great advantage in starting to build a pension fund as early as possible. Retirement funds benefit from a combination of tax relief and tax free compounding growth. Much of the capital value within a fund at retirement is built up in the earlier years as they have the longest to grow. Starting early gives retirees the option of lower overall cost of contributions, a larger fund and therefore either higher income at normal retirement or the option to retire earlier.
While there are annual contribution allowance limits, the simple answer is as much is as affordable. The greater the contributions the greater the tax advantage and ultimately the larger the pension fund.
Often employers offer pensions with matched funding. The employer will match the level of the members contributions. This is very beneficial and should be taken up.
Invariably an employer will make contributions in addition to the member’s contributions. These added contributions provide a significant advantage and should be taken up as early as possible.
The earliest age you are able to take benefits from a pension fund is age 55. One can take benefits and can also continue to work. Full retirement from a personal pension is very flexible and can take place at any time after age 55. Occupational pensions will have a set retirement date as benefits are calculated to this date. The age is usually 65. Early retirement is often available but with an early retirement penalty charge.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) offer an on-line forecast service called a BR19 request. A BR19 report provides a national insurance contribution history, currently accrued state pension benefits and a forecast of your basic state pension at your actual state pension age.
The decision over either an annuity or drawdown is often determined by the extent of other assets, the size of the pension fund and your attitude to risk. Both forms of pension income are available at the same time.
If you are fortunate to have built a large pension fund, have other assets to support retirement and have a balanced or speculative investment outlook then drawdown may suit you.
If you have limited assets and your pension is your only retirement asset you may wish to be certain and secure in the lifelong guarantee an annuity offers.
All investment carries risk. We can manage risk to acceptable levels of volatility through the blending of different types of assets that behave in different ways. Asset allocation can give investors’ confidence about the likely future range of returns and anticipated average likely return for each risk category of portfolio. We publish these returns every six months.
Each portfolio has a published anticipated average rate of return. This figure is the gross annual anticipated return but is not guaranteed. We publish our past five years cumulative and discrete performance as measured against the most relevant national risk related benchmark every six months. We are pleased to report that our portfolios consistently outperform the recognised national benchmarks.
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