Taking steps to plan for a better future
Regardless of the life stage you have arrived at, it is important to receive expert and professional advice on your pension plans and requirements. Yet many people spend more time planning their holiday than their own retirement. Perhaps because planning for retirement seems too complicated to think about. But according to people surveyed for BlackRock’s Investor Pulse survey, the biggest financial priority was still ‘funding a comfortable retirement’.
We know that we want an active, comfortable retirement but often don’t know where to start the savings process. If confusion and a lack of understanding around your retirement needs has caused you to put off planning and saving anything, you’re not alone. In fact, over half of people in the UK are in the same position.
New pension rules which give us far greater flexibility over what we can do with our pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015. Understanding these reforms and more informed planning will enable you to consider the changes you could make and take steps towards planning for a more comfortable future.
Know what you need – set yourself a target
The closer you are to approaching retirement, the more you are likely to know how much income you will need to cover your outgoings. If you have longer to go until retirement, it is still good to have an idea of what you are aiming for, and you can review this each year as you get closer.
Know what you already have
The second step is to understand what you have already saved. Knowing what you already have will help you to understand how far you are towards your retirement target. If you have a lot of different pensions, it may be worth considering bringing those all together into one account. Should you consolidate?
What you need to think about
– Are you paying in the right amount?
– Are you invested in the right kind of fund?
– When can you realistically retire?
Be fully aware of the tax implications
The decisions you make can have markedly different tax implications when taking your retirement income, so you should consider these carefully before you choose.
Type of income
How important is it that you guarantee your income for life? Would you like your income to increase each year to offset inflation? Do you need the flexibility to vary your income? These questions and others will help you decide what’s right for you.
Taking on investment risk
If you still need to provide an income for your retirement and don’t buy an annuity, what will you do with the money? Are you comfortable taking investment risk?
Passing on as much as you can to dependants
The treatment of your fund on death differs depending on the decisions you take.
INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
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.