Why should you review your pension & retirement plans?
You may not know how much pension savings you have, where your money is invested, what risks your plans are experiencing, the costs & charges being taken and simply, what this all means for your retirement. Can you afford to retire? Can you retire early? What level of income can you get? Simply put, will you have enough money and will it last?
By checking and making any necessary changes to your pensions sooner, this will have a powerful impact on how financially secure you will be.
Pensions are very complicated products so you should get stressed! Your named & dedicated expert will explain everything to you in jargon free language! We offer all potential clients a no-cost and no-obligation review where we check your pension plans giving you peace of mind that your pensions are working hard for you. We will take time to get to know you personally, understanding your wider circumstances before completing detailed research on any plans you may have. Only when we know that we can definitely make you better off, will your expert make recommendations with clear explanations, helping you make an informed decision. We will then put our advice in writing which is our GUARANTEE it is in your best interests!
Start planning your retirement for a better future TODAY!
With the average life expectancy increasing all the time, we are living longer and as a result will need our money to last as long as possible. State pensions are a start but with the current maximum basic pension coming in at just £185.15 per week (2022/23 tax year) you will be living a basic lifestyle with few luxuries or holidays for example! Understanding and reviewing your pensions is vital to a stress free, comfortable and secure financial future.
Getting to a secure retirement is not easy, let alone understanding all the rules and laws can be a nightmare. What are your pension options, are pensions right for you, how do you manage the investments, how they are performing, what are the risks and charges can be too much to think about.
All pension providers charge for their services but not all pension providers charge in the same way making it extremely difficult for anyone to understand. Some providers take money from you in complicated ways and it could seem they actually add layers of complexity on purpose to put clients off from shopping around easily. Your adviser will be able to explain the costs of staying put aswell as the costs of a potential transfer.
Are you thinking about transferring your pension?
If you have multiple Defined Contribution (DC) pensions (aka money purchase pensions), you may simply want to combine them for ease of understanding and simplicity. You may need more flexibility and your existing policies (especially older ones) may not allow you to make withdrawals in a flexible way for example. Being pension experts and covering the entire UK, we can help you navigate this complicated area and modernise your retirement plans!
Before transferring your pensions, such as workplace or personal pension plans to another provider, your dedicated expert will help you understand:
- Charges you may incur transferring
- Any unique benefits/guarantees/enhanced tax-free cash you could lose
- What the transfer value is of your pot
- Risks involved as the value of your investment can go down as well as up
- Investment & Risk analysis
- The different ways of generating incomes
- Tax planning and tax implication of withdrawals
We will fully investigate all your existing pensions and after we have got to know you, make clear recommendations making sure you fully understand all the pro’s and con’s (no cost or obligation) before making any decisions!
Why might I transfer my pension?
- Consolidate & combine multiple pension pots into one, making them easier to manage and understand
- Reduce fees and charges
- Increase flexibility of pension options your current provider cannot offer
- Allow immediate access and withdrawals (unlock tax-free cash for example)
- Receive more income from your pension
- Better fund choice and ultimately, better performance
- Ensure any risks taken are appropriate and understood
Remember we are completely INDEPENDENT and work with all pension providers in the UK. To name a few, if you have existing pensions with Aviva, Prudential, Royal London, Fidelity, Phoenix Life, Aegon, Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Legal & General, Hargreaves Lansdown or Zurich (and everyone else!) book your free pension review today!
Pension Review & Transfer – FAQ’s
What are the tax advantages of my pensions?
Simply put, when you contribute to a pension the tax-man tops you up with a further contribution equal to 25% of your premium (or 20% of the total “gross” amount). If you are a higher rate taxpayer you can then reclaim a further25% of your net premium via self-assessment! Don’t forget, your pension also grows tax-free and therefore will grow faster than a similarly invested taxable investment! Taxation depends on your circumstances so personalised advice is key to make the most of your money! An expert financial adviser is expert in taxation, withdrawal strategies, risk and investment management providing total peace of mind. After all, its not very often you can claim some “free” money back from the government!
Are my pensions performing well?
All pensions have an underlying investment strategy and these could be anything from a cash based account paying very little interest through to an investment that could have a low risk, medium risk or high risk strategy. What return or loss you may get is linked to your investments and it is vital to ensure these are reviewed regularly to make the most of your money. There are thousands of investments and some will always do better than others so you need to choose very carefully! An expert financial adviser will ensure your investments are both suitable and the best available for your risk appetite.
How much am I paying in charges?
All pensions will have charges and some are “transparent” or “explicit” meaning you can ask your pension provider what they are whereas others are “opaque” or “implicit” meaning they are hidden within your investment strategy. Charges are not the be all and end all however, paying high charges for a poorly performing pension is definitely NOT be a good idea. Cost simplicity and reduction is usually a very good thing, there are some very expensive pensions out there that have performed badly for many years! An expert financial adviser will ensure complete value for money in a transparent way.
Who is managing my pension plan?
There are usually different people involved with running your pension plans and these can include, 1. The pension provider themselves, 2. The fund managers within your pension plan and 3. External experts such as a financial adviser or discretionary fund manager. Between them, they are responsible for the actual investment of your money and hopefully generating higher returns along the way. It is important you check your investments regularly as fund managers often change and some will “drop the ball” so making sure you have the best experts in your corner is vital! What performs well today may not perform so well tomorrow! An expert financial adviser will constantly ensure those managing your pension are the best available, suitable for you and recommend changes if necessary.
What are the risks?
All investments have risks and strategies can include low, medium or high risk funds. The higher the risk selected, the more fluctuations and volatility would be experienced along the way. Obviously the more risk you accept, the more the returns may be and the more losses may be experienced so a longer term view (of say at least 5+ years) is vital. Your risk appetite can change, for example as you approach retirement you may become more risk averse (as you will be needing the money soon) whereas if you are 30 years away from retirement you may not be so bothered about fluctuations in the shorter term. An expert financial adviser will help you understand risk and recommend a tailored solution for you.
Should I put more money in?
Basically, YES! A pension is a “finite” pot of money. The more you put in, the more money you will have – pretty simple really. The more money you have means the more you can withdraw and the longer it may last. Don’t forget you get free government money along the way (tax relief) so get a 25% boost on day 1! An expert financial adviser will explain the tax advantages, maximise your individual position and explain it in jargon free language.
How and when can I withdraw my money?
Usually this is governed by UK legislation and currently the minimum age for pension withdrawal is from age 55. However in 2028, this will increase to 57 and could rise further in the future. Some older pensions also have what we call “protected retirement ages” and therefore could allow even earlier withdrawal, perhaps at age 50 for example. If you transfer a pension you usually lose any protected retirement ages and therefore care should be taken before. An expert adviser will check your plans and help you understand whether the benefits are worth giving up.
Do I get ongoing advice?
We offer an ongoing service proposition but it is not compulsory so if you don’t want it that’s fine too. Obviously we charge for the service and if you do take it, ongoing costs will usually increase. If you need this peace of mind and require structured ongoing advice of your plans we are happy to help.
What will my pensions be worth?
The more money you, HMRC or your employer put in will grow or fall according to the investments you have chosen along the way. What you end up with will depend on all these factors and a larger lump sum will then last longer when you come to make withdrawals. You also need to take account of inflation along the way but basically all these things are extremely difficult to predict over the long term. An expert adviser will make and explain their assumptions to help you understand as accurately as possible what your strategy may look like both in the “accumulation” phase and ultimately the “deaccumulation” phase of retirement also.
What you get with Financial Fortress
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
No cost or obligation initial review meeting.
A personally named and dedicated expert dedicated to you!
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If you wish to get in touch you can do by selecting an option below or for some further information you can download our FREE pension guide!