Pensions and retirement

What will you live on after you’ve retired? How much money will you need? And how long will you need it for? These are the main reasons for seeking pension advice.

Starting a pension

Rule one for starting a pension is: the earlier the better, but better late than never. An early start means more time for compound interest to work its magic – a small contribution when you are young can be worth much more than a large contribution years later. Remember too that every pound you pay into a pension is boosted by tax relief at your marginal rate. If you are in employment then you should have access to a workplace pension, which all employers must now offer by law. However, if you are self-employed then you will have to set up a personal pension.

Pension freedom

Everyone with a defined contribution (money purchase) pension now has full access to it from the age of 55. Up to 25 per cent of the pot can be withdrawn tax free, with the remainder taxed at the individual's marginal rate. What you do with your pension savings is now up to you: the numerous options include investing for income, drawing out lump sums, purchasing an annuity, or any combination that suits your needs in retirement.

Pension Wise

To help you explore the various options open to you, the government has introduced Pension Wise. This is a free service offering guidance on what is available under pension freedom. However, it cannot provide formal advice, or recommend which of the options are most suitable for your particular circumstances. For this you will need to consult an independent financial adviser.

Retirement planning

Seeking pension advice from a financial adviser can help you with all aspects of pensions and retirement planning, whether you are just starting to invest in a pension, or approaching the stage in life when you will need to use it. Have a look at our retirement checklist for an idea of the questions you should ask your adviser.

In the menu on the left you can explore the areas that you should be thinking about now. To speak to someone about retirement planning, find a financial adviser here.