Getting expert help for your retirement

Your pension is a long-term saving plan designed to provide an income when you have finished working. It can be easy to arrange, particularly if you can rely on an employer pension.

However, your entire future depends on it. There are a few pitfalls that you need to be aware of and some opportunities to help make your savings work harder to provide more of the retirement income you want.  

Building up your pension pot or working out the most suitable way to use it is too important to leave to chance.

At Continuum we are looking at why you need a financial adviser for your pension.

What kind of retirement are you looking forward to?

The days of final salary pensions, where your employer’s scheme would continue to pay as though you were still at work are over.

An independent financial adviser can look at your existing pension arrangements to work out the kind of retirement income they can bring you. This pension forecast can come as a wake-up call. At Continuum we have found that many people have little idea about the kind of pension they will really face and that the figures we uncover are often less than adequate.

The good news is that we can then find ways to help make your pension outlook rather brighter.

Building a bigger pension pot

We can take an informed and professional approach to arranging your pension.

We can start by looking at your pension pot – the money you are building in your retirement fund. Then we will show you the size of pot you need to provide the level of retirement income you want.  If your current arrangements are falling short, we will look at ways to build that level of savings.

A private pension may be the solution. A pension is an investment and can be very rewarding, because the taxman will contribute with you. Putting one pound into your pension costs just 80p if you are a basic rate taxpayer, and just 60p if you pay tax at a higher rateWe can help you take full advantage of the opportunity this presents.

But there are more than 40,000 regulated pension investment funds on the market and each has its own risk level and investment strategy. We can look at them to find the scheme that is the most appropriate for you. 

Because we are independent, our only interest is your financial success. You can rely on us to take an unbiased view to find the solution that is the most suitable for you.

We can create a precisely costed plan, with a roadmap predicting how much you need to save each year.

It means that instead of an uncertain future, you can look forward to the retirement you want, with the added peace of mind of knowing your pension savings are working as hard for you as possible.

What else can we do for you?

We have many other ways to help you. One way is to find lost pensions.

On average people have 12 jobs in their lifetime, and with a different company pension scheme each time it is all too easy to lose track of your money. 

We can help you track down forgotten pension pots and if appropriate combine them to make them easier to manage. 

We can also help you meet your legal needs. For most decisions regarding your finances, it is your choice whether to take financial advice. But there are a few exceptions, and in some cases you may be required to get independent advice before you can make a change to your pension arrangements. 

  • If you want to cash in a defined benefit pension, you are required to seek financial advice regardless of how much is in your plan. The guaranteed income that such final salary schemes provide is valuable – cashing in this type of pension is unlikely to be a good decision.
  • You must use a financial adviser if you are planning to cash in a defined contribution pension over £30,000. Below £30,000, there is no legal requirement to seek advice. But the tax implications make it wise to consult a financial adviser. 

Then when you come to take your pension…

There is no legal requirement for financial advice when making withdrawals from your pension or using it to buy an annuity, but it is wise to do so. Since pension freedoms were introduced, there are many ways to use your pension savings to provide an income.

We can help you find the approach that is the most appropriate for your particular circumstances. Whether you want to stay invested or take out an annuity, we can help you make the most efficient use of your pension savings – and negotiate the tax minefield that can surround it.

Quite simply – we aim to help you get more from your pension.

Get professional advice now

Remember that it’s important to review your pension investment choices regularly as you approach retirement.

The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable retirement strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.

A pension is a long term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Pension income could also be affected by interest rates at the time benefits are taken.

The tax treatment of pensions in general and tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future.

Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means tested benefits.

Accessing pension benefits is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation advice.

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