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How much State Pension will I receive?
The amount you receive will depend on your National Insurance Contributions during your life and whether or not you have been contracted out of the second tier pension (S2P). Anybody can apply (on line is available) to the DWP for a projection, using a form BR19 which can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm
When will I get my State Pension?
It is proposed that from December 2018, the State Pension age for both men and women will start to increase to reach 66 by April 2020. Therefore state pension age for women will now be equalised at 65 from November 2018. A calculator tool is available on http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.htm which will enable you to work out exactly when you will get your State Pension.
Do I have to take benefits at normal retirement age?
It is possible to defer taking State Pension if you are still working, and the potential benefits of this can be quite substantial. Each case has to be considered on its merits and so individual advice is required. From personal pension arrangements, benefits currently have to be vested by age 75 if tax free cash is required, but the actual decision as to how the pension is provided can be deferred to age 77. Further legislation in this area is expected in the coming months.
My health is not so good – can I increase the amount of pension I receive?
For pensions other than those provided by the State, it is possible to ask annuity providers to take into consideration poor health and in the light of information they receive they may increase the amount of pension you receive. This is a complex issue and Independent Financial Advice is essential in this area.
I’ve heard that if I buy an annuity, when I die the Insurance Company gets what’s left – is there any way of avoiding this?
Whilst a pension scheme has to provide an income in retirement, these days this does not have to be done by means of annuity purchase. There are other potentially more flexible options, but these are not right for everyone. Again, Independent Financial Advice is essential.
What else can I do to make sure I can enjoy my retirement?
Approaching retirement is an excellent time to review all your investments – to ensure that the funds are working as hard as possible for you, that they are invested in line with your attitude to risk and that a correct balance is maintained between income and capital growth.
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