Pensions and retirement

What will be your source of income after you’ve retired? How much money will you be able to access? How much will you need? And how long will you need it for – that is, how long might you live? What are all the different retirement options and what do they mean? These are pressing questions no matter what your current age, and they become more urgent year by year.

Pension reforms have given us all more freedom in how we use our pension savings. For instance, it is no longer compulsory to buy an annuity (a guaranteed annual income for the rest of your life, in exchange for a lump sum from your pension pot). However, this greater choice can mean greater uncertainty over what to do.

Big decisions

Your retirement income will depend on several major financial decisions. These range from planning your pension many years in advance, to deciding how to use your accumulated funds at the point of retirement. Some of your choices may be irreversible (such as buying an annuity) and could affect not only the rest of your life, but also any inheritance that you hope to leave to your beneficiaries.

Our research has shown that independent financial advice taken before you retire, or at the point of retirement, is likely to leave you substantially better off in the long term. By taking into account your precise circumstances, your needs as an individual, and the options available from across the whole of the market, such advice typically pays for itself many times over, while enhancing your income considerably throughout your retirement years.

How to make a more confident choice

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.