Pension advice

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Pension advice, Yorkshire

Pension advice and expertise

A pension fund is designed to provide you with an income when you retire from work. Your fund will depend on how much income you receive in retirement.

A pension is a long-term investment which has special tax rules - one of these rules allows you to claim tax relief on your contributions. There are a number of different types of pension and your circumstances will play a role in determining which pension is right for you. Our financial advisers can help you find the right product.

We can also help you to obtain information regarding any state pension benefit entitlement and provide you with a clearer understanding of your pension provision and freedom.

Personal pension

Personal pensions are available from banks, building societies and life insurance companies and can also be held on administration systems known as platforms.

With personal pensions, you can save as much as you want and receive tax relief on the amount you put in up to the value of the annual allowance.

Generally, to obtain tax relief, the individual cannot contribute more than the greater of £3,600 or 100% of their earnings.

Stakeholder pensions

Stakeholder pensions are a type of personal pension that have to meet certain legal requirements, which are designed to make sure they represent good value.

Group personal pensions

Your employer may arrange for a pension provider to set up a personal pension through your workplace. A personal pension (including a stakeholder pension) arranged in this way is called a group personal pension plan. Although they are sometimes referred to as company pensions, they are not operated by employers.

Pension annuity

It is possible to use a pension fund to purchase a pension annuity. This will pay a regular income to the purchaser for the rest of their life and it will usually be guaranteed by a regulated insurance company.

The purchaser will also normally have the option to have a guarantee that the income will be paid for a minimum number of years, even if they die earlier and/or make provision for a surviving spouse. 

It is also possible to consider an income that will increase in payment, for example inflation linked. However, some of these options may result in the starting level of income being considerably reduced.

Group personal pensions

There are also alternative retirement strategies available that can combine the secure income of annuities with the flexibility of pension drawdown. These strategies can involve guaranteed income for life without annuity purchase and/or fixed term annuities and enhanced annuities.

Pension drawdown

In April 2015, the government introduced radical changes to the options available to people with defined contribution pensions at retirement.
There is now no restriction on the ability to drawdown funds from a defined contribution pension pot after age 55. The tax rules have been drastically simplified to give people unfettered, flexible access to their pension savings.

The government proposed that from April 2015, individuals with defined contribution pension savings should be able to access those savings as they wish at retirement.

Pension drawdown plans can facilitate this sort of flexibility.

However, it is important to realise that income taken from pension plans should ideally be sustainable for life and advice on how to manage money in retirement is more important than ever.
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