I deal with a lot of clients who are approaching retirement and need advice on how best to take an income from their accumulated pension and retirement funds. Very few people have the same circumstances and it’s essential to take advice at the right time because you’ve only one chance to get it right. Very few annutiies allow for any future changes. Perhaps you have accumulated various pension funds from different employers or maybe you started different pensions with different advisers over the years. It makes sense to view all of these as a whole and in the light of your future income and expenditure requirements. Annuity rates have never been so low and inflation will always be the enemy of the saver and the pensioner so you need to make the most of what you have. Too many people just sign whatever documentation they receive from their pension provider and don’t shop around. You have the right to explore the Open Market Option where you can take your pension pot(s) to the open market to see if you can get a better rate than your current scheme provider. In my experience the open market option usually throws up a better annuity rate than what you are originally quoted by your insurer.
You should be aware that certain illnesses and medical conditions can give you an enhanced annuity rate which can be substantially better than a standard annuity rate. If you are aware of any serious conditions or if you are taking medication you should ask an independent financial adviser to look at the enhanced annuity market for you.
You need to consider whether taking the maximum tax free lump sum is in your interests and whether an annuity, an investment backed annuity, income or flexible drawdown is your best option. It may be a combination of different approaches. I offer a free initial consultation and will be happy to meet with you to discuss your requirements.
Even if you aren’t ready to take your pension benefits just yet and have a pension fund in one or several places it would be worthwhile having your arrangements reviewed to ensure that the investment strategy and charging structure is appropriate. If you are coming up to retirement in the next year or two it would not be wise to be fully invested in the stock market in the same way you were when you took the pension out. It is important to de-risk your pension portfoiio the closer you get to retirement.
Please call the office or email me to arrange an appointment.