It’s a fact THAT more of us will require specialist care in our later years

Today, the cost of care is a major concern for many people, with the average level of pension savings unlikely to be enough to cover any long-term care requirements in addition to providing a retirement income.

Why the consequences could be far-reaching for you and your loved ones

Significant changes to existing intestacy rules came into force on 1 October 2014 in England and Wales, with the aim of making things simpler and clearer. The consequences could be far-reaching for you and your loved ones, and while there are increasing entitlements for surviving spouses and registered civil partners, the changes highlight the importance of making a Will to ensure your wishes are carried out.

The numbers show a significant protection gap exists for families in the UK

W e all want to safeguard our family’s lifestyle in case the worst should happen. But only a quarter (24%) of adults in the UK with children under 16 have any form of financial protection, a significant drop from 31% in 2013, according to the latest research from the Scottish Widows Protection Report. With over half (54%) of this group admitting that their savings would last just a couple of months if they were unable to work, a significant protection gap exists for families in the UK.

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.

However, not all consolidation of pensions will be in your best interests. You should always look carefully into the possible benefits and drawbacks and, if unsure, seek professional advice.

Taking control of your money

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 keep control of your savings.

Saving for your retirement that’s arranged by your employer

Millions of workers are being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension by their employer. A workplace pension is a way of saving for your retirement that’s arranged by your employer.

A percentage of your pay is put into the pension scheme automatically every payday. In most cases, your employer and the Government also contribute money into the pension scheme for you. The money is used to pay you an income for the rest of your life when you start receiving the pension.

Protecting your assets to give your family lasting benefits in an uncertain world

Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK is a subject that was once something that only affected very wealthy people. It may be one of life’s unpleasant facts but today it affects more people than ever, partly due to the rise in the property market that has not been matched by a corresponding rise in the IHT threshold.

One in three could not carry out current jobs past their traditional retirement age

Employers estimate up to a third of their staff would struggle to continue in their current jobs past traditional retirement ages, research for MetLife Employee Benefits[1] shows. Its nationwide study found HR directors believe that, on average, 31% of their current workforce would not be able to perform their jobs adequately once they reach normal retirement ages, even though 54% of them expect an increase in the proportion of older staff.

Fewer people are putting money away despite improvements to the economy

The gap between the fortunes of savers and non-savers continues to widen, and research supports these findings[1]. ‘Habitual savers’ continue to put away more for a rainy day, but the total number of people saving has fallen, and, despite improvements to the economy, one in five people in the UK have no savings at all.

How new pension fund rules could increase life expectancy

With the news that the tax charge on pension funds will be removed before age 75, some commentators have suggested that over 90% of people retiring in good health should expect to live beyond age 75. For someone with moderate levels of health issues, over 80% might expect to live to at least 75. The tax landscape beyond age 75 is different, with tax being paid on monies passed on.

Continuing to cope financially due to an illness or accidental injury that prevents you from working

No-one can guarantee that they will not be the victim of an unfortunate accident or be diagnosed with a serious illness. The bills won’t stop arriving or the mortgage payments from being deducted from your bank account, so going without income protection insurance could be tempting fate.

Providing a financial cushion you need for everyday life

Most people don’t like to contemplate what would happen if they were diagnosed with a critical illness, but not considering the future could mean that, should you survive such a catastrophic event, you may not have the financial cushion you need for everyday life.

Guaranteed financial protection that lasts for the rest of your life

As the name suggests, whole-of-life policies are ongoing policies that pay out when you die, whenever that is. Because it’s guaranteed that you’ll die at some point (and therefore that the policy will have to pay out), these policies are more expensive than term assurance policies, which only pay out if you die within a certain timeframe.

Choose the amount you want to be insured for and the period for which you want cover

The most basic type of life assurance is called ‘term assurance’. With term assurance, you choose the amount you want to be insured for and the period for which you want cover. If you die within the term, the policy pays out to your beneficiaries. If you don’t die during the term, the policy doesn’t pay out and the premiums you’ve paid are not returned to you.