Retirement planning comprises of two distinct phases. The ‘Accumulation Phase’ is when money is saved to build a pension fund. This is followed by the ‘Extraction Phase’, which means taking your pension during retirement.
It is impossible to know how big a pension fund we will need because we don’t know how long we will live in retirement. As retirement approaches, financial planning focuses mainly on how an individual will generate the income they require, with investment and tax planning becoming key areas that need to be addressed.
Our independent financial advisers can help you to understand the relevant planning issues as well as the range of potential solutions that are available.
A Personal Pension Plan is an investment vehicle designed to enable funds to be saved for your retirement in a highly tax efficient way. Income Tax can be reclaimed on contributions and all funds within the Pension grow virtually free of other UK taxes. As with other investments, there are a wide range of investment choices available.
A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a type of Personal Pension Plan with additional investment capabilities. The SIPP holder can invest in a wider range of assets than a typical Personal Pension, including commercial property and individual stocks.
The same tax reliefs apply to contributions to a SIPP as apply to other Personal Pensions, but because of their access to a wider range of investment assets they are usually more expensive in terms of charges. The ability to choose and manage investments will appeal to more sophisticated investors, particularly those who are prepared to accept a higher degree of risk.
An annuity is a secure, regular income purchased from an insurance company at the point of retirement typically with the savings accumulated within a pension fund. The annuity pays a regular income to an individual for the rest of their life. When selecting an annuity, it is possible to make provision for death benefits and inflation proofing.
Income Drawdown is an alternative way of withdrawing an income from a Personal Pension Plan that provides more flexibility than an annuity. Drawdown enables you to withdraw as little or as much income from your pension fund as and when you need it.
New pension rules that came into force on 6th April 2015 gave anyone aged 55 or above, with personal pensions or other defined contribution plans, far greater flexibility over what they can do with their pensions. This includes being able to access the entire pension fund and choose how to take income in retirement.
Despite the greater flexibility now available, there are taxation issues to be considered. Professional advice should always be sought before making any decisions regarding taking retirement income.
A QROPS is an overseas pension scheme that can receive transfers of UK Pension Benefits without incurring an unauthorised payment and scheme sanction charge. The QROPS program was launched on 6 April 2006 as a direct result of EU human rights legislation with regards to freedom of capital movement. QROPS are increasingly popular with British Expats due mainly to the tax advantages they offer when drawing pension benefits and their ability to be transferred to beneficiaries of choice in the event of death. Transferring a UK pension fund into a QROPS can reduce taxation and avoid UK taxation as long as the pensioner remains tax resident outside the UK
All investment involves risk and it is important that you understand the value of investments and any income derived from them may go down as well as up and you might not get back the full amount you invested. Please contact us if you have any doubt about whether an investment is suitable for you.