While you are working

Retirement planning is an important part of anyone's financial arrangements and a pension is often one of their largest assets. It can take a number of different forms including: Personal Pensions, Occupational Schemes, Stakeholder Schemes, Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and in some cases investment ISAs. Add to this the introduction of Auto enrolment, and it is little wonder that most people are left a little confused.

The government is gradually increasing the age at which we can start to draw a state pension, as well as amending the legislation that effects pensions, therefore it is more important than ever to consider your retirement provisions.

Whichever option you take, it is important to take financial advice to establish the most suitable route. In addition, people rarely review their existing arrangements to ensure they are continuing to work hard for them. Instead they opt to wait until retirement to see how their pension has performed.

We believe regular reviews are an essential part of effective retirement planning.

When you retire

When you reach retirement you will usually be asked to make a decision on the way the pension is structured to pay you an income and whether you require a tax free cash sum. There are a bewildering number of options and their suitability is very much dependant on your personal circumstances and your requirements.

The need for financial advice is very clear at this point and we have considerable experience of all the options. We are able to guide you to the one that suits you most. If we have been looking after your pension before the point of retirement, we will normally be discussing your options with you in the years leading up to retirement, so when you are ready to draw a pension, you are familiar with the options you will be presented with.

Some of the options that can be considered include: income drawdown (both capped and flexible), conventional annuities, investment linked annuities and the encashment of the plan in the case of small pension pots.

If you are a smoker or have (or have had) a medical condition, it may be possible to obtain a higher income from your pension.