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Pre and Post Retirement Planning

It is never too early to start planning for your retirement and the sooner you start thinking about how you will generate the income you will need to fund the lifestyle that you want once you are no longer working full time, the more likely you will be to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

There are a number of saving options that can help you to maintain financial stability when you do eventually retire, including pensions, ISAs and investments.

The legislation around retirement planning is constantly evolving with the most recent changes including increased pension freedoms and the new government Lifetime ISA (LISA).

We can help you create the right plan for you and your family and can help manage your funds to ensure you retire in the strongest position possible.

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments.

If you haven’t got a workplace pension, getting a personal pension could be a good way of saving for your retirement.

Personal pensions are generally seen as a tax-efficient way to save for your retirement as the Government will refund the tax on your contributions.SIPPS (Self Invested Personal Pension Schemes) allow you to control the investment of the scheme’s assets and can offer the ability to invest in alternative investment like Commercial Property. Once you reach 55 you can choose how you would like to access your pension savings.

SSAS (Small Self-Administered Schemes) are pensions products designed typically for the directors of small businesses. They are different to SIPPS in that trustees control the fund’s assets, which may be used under some circumstances to purchase things such as business assets and provide business loans.

A stakeholder pension is a long-term investment that differs from personal pension schemes as it must meet minimum Government requirements on capped charges and low minimum payment levels.

Stakeholder pensions are tax efficient as there are eligible for tax relief on payments into the plan up to £3,600 a year or 100% of your UK taxable earnings if greater, provided that you do not go over the annual allowance payment limit.

If you are employed, your employer can also make payments into your plan and you won’t normally pay tax or National Insurance on these.

Group personal pensions are savings and investment instruments designed to generate retirement income for you in due course.

They are typically arranged by a company, acting as your employer. Their contributions may come from all company employees who are members of the scheme. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a 25% cash lump-sum upon reaching the age of 55.

Group personal pensions typically involve your employer setting up a scheme that involves you contributing money into some form of fund (often provided by an insurance company) in the same way a personal pension does. Your employer may or may not make contributions into your accumulating pension savings themselves. Although your employer may have agreed the scheme, the relationship is legally between you and the scheme provider.

Typically, you cannot access directly, as a lump sum, your accumulated savings and investments though you may be able to take up to 25% as a tax-free lump sum.

If you are to generate income for yourself on a monthly basis after you stop work, you’ll need to convert that lump sum into regular income by purchasing an annuity. An annuity is something that you purchase upon retirement with your accumulated pensions savings and investments.

You are typically not obliged to purchase your annuity through your pension scheme provider. As different annuities have different yields and different guarantees against things like the effects of inflation, it only makes sense to shop around extensively and to take advice before making your decision. In fact, in some cases, it might make sense to defer purchasing an annuity until economic circumstances and yields are more advantageous.

Remember that once you purchase an annuity, your pension savings are committed. They cannot be switched into other such schemes. That’s why it is so important to make the right decision first time.