Deciding what to do with the pension pot you’ve built up

If you save through a private personal pension, when you approach retirement age you’ll have to decide what to do with the pension pot you have built up. If applicable to you, one option is to buy an annuity. It’s important to find an annuity that suits you and provides the best deal because, after your property, an annuity is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make.

A limit on the amount of tax relief you’re allowed

You can save as much as you like into a pension, but there is a limit on the amount of tax relief you’re allowed. From 6 April 2014, the Lifetime Allowance for pensions reduced from £1.5m to £1.25m. In essence, the Lifetime Allowance is intended to cap the level of tax advantaged pension funds that an individual can accumulate within their lifetime.

Coming to terms with the realities of your later years

If you’ve not thought about planning your retirement yet, don’t panic. We can discuss the different options available to you. This may include a personal pension, or a defined contribution pension. If appropriate, your provider invests the money you pay in and gives you an accumulated sum on retirement, with which you can currently buy an annuity or go into income drawdown.

A regular income once you reach State Pension age

The State Pension gives you a regular income once you reach State Pension age. It is based on National Insurance contributions and the amount you get depends on how much you paid in. To receive it, you must have paid or been credited with National Insurance contributions.

New living patterns require retirement income solutions that offer greater flexibility

More than half of over-55s currently in the workforce are happy to work past the default retirement age of 65, according to new research[1] from MetLife.

Fundamentally redesigning the UK private pensions system

Fundamental plans to redesign the UK defined contribution pension system (as opposed to workplace final salary schemes) were announced as part of the Budget 2014 speech. This is the most far-reaching reform to the taxation of pensions since the regime was introduced in 1921, introducing new flexibility to the pensions system.

Higher returns generally come with higher risk

It seems incredible that the Bank of England base rate has stood at 0.5% since March 2009. It’s made unhappy headlines for savers looking to generate income over the previous five years.

Having a plan for the future can make the present feel less stressful

The number of people in the UK with no savings at all has risen year-on-year from eight million to over nine million, or 1 in 5 of the UK adult population, according to the 2014 Scottish Widows Savings Report. This brings the proportion of people who have savings (67%) down to a level not seen since 2011.

A tax-efficient way to help you minimise the tax you pay

No one knew back in 1999 how popular Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) would become but with £443 billion[1] now held in ISAs, they’ve established themselves as a core option for saving and investing in a tax-efficient way to help minimise the tax you pay on the proceeds.

What you need to know – the main talking points

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, gave his fifth Budget speech to Parliament on 19 March 2014. He unveiled plans to support economic recovery – including tax breaks to boost productivity, exports and manufacturing.

Making adequate provision for retirement means not running out of money

Women have historically lived longer than men, but this is gradually changing. Life expectancy has continued to increase all round as all generations enjoy unprecedented wealth, better nutrition, healthier lifestyles and the benefits of advancing medical science.

The best chance of being reunited with a lost scheme

People change jobs and employers change their names, but, more importantly, we all forget things from time to time. With that in mind, it is easy to lose track of pensions that you have paid into over the years. If you do not actively look for your lost pensions, then you take the risk of relying on them looking for you! This can be difficult for them to do if, for example, you have changed your name through marriage or moved home yourself.

Bringing your pensions under one roof

Most people, during their career, accumulate a number of different pension plans. Keeping your pension savings in a number of different plans may result in lost investment opportunities and unnecessary exposure to risk.

Taking control of where your money goes and how it grows

Some people don’t want a pension company deciding how their pension savings are invested – they want to control where their money goes and how it grows. In this scenario, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) offers a solution. Very much a do-it-yourself pension, you choose what investments you want to put your savings into, and therefore keep control of your savings.

Helping you take full control of your retirement savings

People change jobs, employers change their names but, more importantly, we all forget things from time to time. With that in mind, it is easy to lose track of pensions that you have paid into over the years.