New rules mean much more dramatic rises than had been expected

For many years the age at which you can claim your State pension benefits has been 65 for men and 60 for women. But the previous Labour Government set out plans, based on recommendations from Lord Turner, to steadily increase the State pension age to 68 for both men and women over the next four decades.

Nearly a quarter of the UK population is currently over the State pension age

Nearly a quarter of the UK population is currently over the State pension age, according to United Nations figures. The same analysis predicts this will rise to almost 30 per cent by 2030.

Compounding of returns for the long term

If you are an income seeker, frozen interest rates at historic lows mean real losses for many savers in bank and building society deposits which fail to match inflation.

Planning for the future is not to be taken lightly

We all want to protect our wealth and help ensure our families are provided for when we die. However, increasingly HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are challenging the valuations of properties given for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes, according to accountants UHY Hacker Young.

Choosing from different sectors

There are thousands of investment funds to choose from and they are divided into different types or sectors. You can buy funds that invest in shares, corporate bonds, gilts, commodities and property among other things; they will also typically have some form of geographical focus.

Counteracting the pensioner’s worst enemy

Inflation is a pensioner’s worst enemy. Over time, it will reduce the value of your income unless you take measures to counteract it. With retirement often stretching to twenty to thirty years, your income should keep pace with inflation.

Understanding the jargon

Taking greater responsibility for your financial future


On 9 December 2010, the Treasury published its draft Finance Act legislation which explained the way pension benefits would be taken in the future. Annuities themselves have not been changed; however, it is now possible to buy an annuity at any age after 55. An annuity will still be the option of choice for most retiring investors because, unlike drawdown, it provides a secure income for life. Annuities are to be used to secure the minimum income requirement of £20,000 to allow investors to use the rest of their pension to go into Flexible Drawdown.

Increasing pension contributions by using unused annual allowances

From 6 April 2011 the annual allowance for pension contributions reduced from £255,000 to £50,000. While this restricts the levels of contributions you can make without attracting an Annual Allowance charge, on the plus side the Government has brought back the Carry Forward rules.

Taking more control over your pension fund investment decisions

If you would like to have more control over your own pension fund and be able to make investment decisions yourself with the option of professional help, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) could be the retirement planning solution to discuss.

Making retirement more flexible

The Treasury published its draft Finance Act legislation on 9 December 2010. The rules revolutionise the way pension benefits are taken and are designed to make retirement more flexible.

Removing the cap on the income you can take

After years of saving into your pension fund, you’ve now decided you want to retire and are overwhelmed by the retirement options available. We can work with you to choose the right strategy in order for you to enjoy your retirement years.

Alternative complementary asset class

Tax-efficient investments are increasingly being used to complement pensions as part of an overall retirement planning solution. The tax relief provides a reliable return and you are able to access your money after the tax qualification periods, either to reinvest in tax-efficient investments for another round of tax relief, or to invest elsewhere.

Taking the right steps to making adequate provision for your future

As your life changes, you’ll have different protection requirements. That’s where we can help. Your financial planning isn’t complete until you assess and address your protection needs. It is important that in committing yourself to any form of protection you take into account the affordability, long term, and therefore the sustainability of the policy.

Taking more control over your pension fund investment decisions

If you would like to have more control over your own pension fund and be able to make investment decisions yourself with the option of our professional help, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) could be the retirement planning solution to discuss.