Can you review my existing pensions?
We can conduct a thorough review detailing exactly what you have as part of our Portfolio Review Service. We look at where your money is ultimately invested, what you are being charged, what returns you have been getting and what level of risk you are taking.
When reviewing clients’ pension arrangements, we often find significant improvements can be made, ultimately for you, this could mean a more comfortable and prosperous retirement.
Remember that we work completely independently and will always recommend the best course of action for you without bias.
Can I consolidate my pensions to one single provider?
There are important benefits to consolidation and the more pension schemes you have the more likely you are to benefit from consolidation.
Bringing all your pensions under one roof can make administration simpler and mean you have less paperwork to contend with and a more cohesive and efficient investment approach. Having said that, some older pension products include valuable features or guarantees that are no longer available in the market, certainly there are some instances where these should be retained.
We always conduct a very detailed analysis of your pensions and will only recommend you consolidate them where this is clearly in your best interest.
Can I start a pension?
Almost anyone can start a pension. There are lots of advantages to having a pension such as tax relief and tax efficient growth, but the type that is most suitable for you depends on your objectives and circumstances.
We can help you identify the features you need and select a pension that is the right fit for you.
Other than a pension, what else could I use to provide for my retirement?
For most people, a pension is going to be the best way to save for retirement because of the generous tax relief available on pension contributions.
But every rule has exceptions and considerations such as how much you already have in pension savings, your level of income, when you want to retire and what other assets you have are all important factors when deciding on how exactly to provide income in retirement.
There are myriad different general savings and investing options such as ISAs, unit trusts etc. available that could be used to support your retirement planning. Beyond savings and liquid investments, many people use buy to let property to provide income in retirement.
The best way to understand what is the right combination for you is to seek independent financial advice.
I’m about to retire. Can you help me get the best income?
There are more options available today than ever before. The benefits of increased flexibility and choice are clear, but a consequence is that retirement planning seems to be getting ever more complicated.
How much income you can take depends on a number of factors, such as your attitude to risk, your capacity for loss, whether you want your investments to continue growing, whether you can stop income for short periods when markets are performing badly, the list goes on. There is no magic bullet or single best product or strategy, no one size fits all approach that works for everyone and every circumstance.
What we are able to do is source independently across the whole of the market to find the best solution to meet your individual needs to provide you with a better chance of securing the outcome you want.
We use our expertise to set appropriate expectations for you and make the best use of the wealth you have.
Can I pay lower charges on my pension?
It is important to understand the distinction between cost and value when considering charges for any product or service.
Taking a bus is cheaper than taking a taxi, but does it offer better value?
This will depend on the individual and their needs and priorities. If you are time sensitive, a taxi is likely to provide better value. If you are price sensitive, perhaps a slower journey is acceptable to avoid additional costs.
The important thing here is that there are two options and one of these options meets your needs better than the other.
The first step in assessing the charges you are paying for your pension is to understand exactly what you are paying and what you are receiving for that money.
You may have an existing pension that comes with very low costs, but if this doesn’t provide the right investment solutions for your needs, the cost advantage pales in comparison to the opportunity of cost of not being in the right investment strategy.
The challenge here is to understand the trade-offs across the different options so you can decide which is the best choice.
We can help you understand what charges you are paying and whether or not you require the features you are paying for. We will always strive to deliver the best value, but in doing so, we will not prejudice your ability to meet your retirement goals.
How can I use the money in my pension?
There are any different pension options available, each with different levels of flexibility in how benefits are commenced. The level of flexibility available today is greater than it has ever been.
You may also have pensions from many years ago that provide more limited options for commencing benefits. Depending on your needs, it may be necessary to transfer some or all of your pension benefits to a new scheme.
Most pensions allow access to benefits at age 55, with up to 25% of your benefits available as tax free cash. Generally speaking, the options available beyond this are annuity purchase or some form of income drawdown. The options available to you will depend on your own circumstances.
There has been a trend away from annuity purchase and towards flexible access, after the pension freedoms that began in 2016. This means more and more people are deciding to take an ongoing income from an invested pension pot. The upshot here is that pension planning now generally goes beyond saving a lump sum to buy a guaranteed lifetime income.