Planning for a comfortable retirement

Right now, retirement might seem a very long way off, but it’s never too early to think about your pension. Ideally, we should all start planning for it from the day we start work. No-one wants to worry about money in their later years and the way to help prevent that happening is to save regularly into a pension throughout your working life.

Despite pensions never being out of the media headlines, many people still leave their retirement planning well into their middle years. However, the earlier you can start building up a fund for your retirement, the less it will cost you. We can give you straightforward advice on all the different types of pension arrangements such as:

  • Personal pension plans,
  • Self-invested personal pensions
  • Small self-administered schemes
  • Workplace pensions

Plus, if you’ve had several jobs over your working life, we can help you decide whether you’d be better off moving your pension savings to just one scheme to improve your retirement prospects.

Why you need to think about your pension

There are some simple but compelling reasons why you should think about pension planning now:

The state pension on its own may not be enough

The full new State Pension is currently £175.20 per week and is based on your National Insurance record. You will need 10 qualifying years to get any new State Pension and 35 qualifying years for the full amount.

Tax relief

If you make contributions to a pension, or if your employer deducts your payments from your salary, you automatically get 20% tax relief as an additional contribution into your pension pot.

You can claim additional tax relief on your Self-Assessment tax return for contributions you make into a private pension of:

  • 20% up to the amount of any income you have paid 40% tax on
  • 25% up to the amount of any income you have paid 45% tax on

Start early to see your savings grow

The sooner you start making contributions, the longer your money will have to grow.

A workplace pension is equivalent to getting a pay rise

If you save into a workplace scheme, your employer should match some or all of your contributions, providing a welcome boost to your pension.

Retirement options to consider

From age 55, there are a number of options available to you including:

  • The ability to draw your benefits available from the existing provider
  • Purchase an annuity with a different provider on the open market, this could potentially increase the payments to you
  • Switch to Flexi-access Drawdown (or a third way plan)
  • Use the Uncrystallised Fund Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS) rules
  • Switch to phased retirement
  • Switch the full amount to any/a combination of the above
  • Undertake a partial switch to any/a combination of the above

So, if you’re self-employed, an employee, work part-time, a company director, run your own business or have accumulated pension pots with past employers, we can offer you advice. After all, retirement should be an enjoyable and fulfilling stage of life, not a time spent worrying about money.

A pension is a long-term investment, the fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.