Retirement Planning

Retirement should be one of the best times of your life. A time when the worries and pressures of business life are in the past and the rewards of all your hard work can be enjoyed.

Many factors influence good decision making and these are some of the personal considerations you should take into account.

Age

The younger you are, the less willing you may be to tie yourself to the inflexibility of an annuity. In addition, annuity income levels tend to improve as you get older, so deferring annuity purchase may pay off (although this is not guaranteed).

Risk

If you are prepared to accept a degree of risk with your retirement fund then leaving your pension invested for longer may be right for you. On the other hand, if you are low risk and looking for income guarantees, the security of an annuity may be more suitable for you.

Tax Free Cash

If you need the maximum tax free lump sum at outset then we can help you select the best option to make that happen.

Size of Your Fund

Larger funds often require more sophisticated solutions and it is at this level that we believe the costs of ongoing advice, which may be too great a burden on much smaller funds, become economic.

Flexibility

If flexibility is a priority, either in terms of being able to vary your income or with regard to how death benefits can be paid, then buying an annuity will not be the right solution for you. Income drawdown is the most flexible retirement option but also entails the most investment risk.

Investment Control

Annuity purchase offers no control over investments, but both phased and income drawdown retirement options allow the funds to remain invested, to greater or lesser degrees. However, greater investment control comes with greater investment risk.

Health

Your main considerations regarding retirement income will probably be the state of your health, your life expectancy and how you will fund the various eventualities which may occur.

Death Benefits

Under an annuity, the level of death benefits is fixed at outset and inflexible. Under phased and income drawdown retirement options there is much greater flexibility as the funds remain invested and are subject to various rules.

State Pension Provision

There are two pensions provided by the State: the Basic State Pension and the State Second Pension.

The Basic State Pension

This is paid from state pension age to those who have made or been credited with National Insurance contributions for 30 years.  Those who do not make the full 30 years’ contributions will qualify for a pro rata amount.

The State Second Pension

On 6 April 2002, the State Second Pension replaced the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).  Both the old scheme and the new are earnings-related and independent of Basic State Pension entitlement.  Your entitlement to State Second Pension only accumulates during periods of employment unless you are a carer who is either entitled to receive Invalid Care Allowance, receive child benefit for a child under the age of 6 (age 12 after 5 April 2010) or have been given “home responsibilities protection”.

Warning:

The above is  only a brief outline of some of the factors which may influence your decision making. No advice is intended  and the outline is for information only. Retirement planning is a complex area of financial planning and advice should always be sought  form a professional and no action should be taken on the strength of this information alone.

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