Pensions & Annuities

For some retirement is a long way off, for others it's just around the corner; whichever it is, the sooner you start planning the better!

People are living longer and retiring earlier, creating an increasingly aging population relying on a decreasing work force to fund state pensions. One of the most tax efficient ways to top up a state pension is to also save into a personal pension tailored to your needs.

Saving for your retirement is one of the most important areas of financial planning and pension plans have one goal – to provide you with a decent income when you retire.

No one wants to scrimp and save in their old age and the majority of plans are incredibly flexible; you can make regular payments, one-off payments and take payment holidays if you need to.

If you are approaching retirement and want to understand more about your options, you can take advantage of our free guide which explains your options in more detail.

state pension for 2011/12:

£102.15 per week for a single person

£163.35 per week for a married couple

Will this cover your basic needs?

If you think this isn’t enough to cover your basic needs or you want to be able to make the most of life after work then now is the time to start making additional arrangements for your retirement.

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The Braemar Pension & SIPP

Whether you have an existing pension or are just starting to think about saving for your retirement, our innovative Braemar Pension & SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) ensures the best for your retirement savings. Further information can be found in our dedicated Braemar Pension & SIPP section but if you’d prefer to discuss your retirement plans on a one to one basis, please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation.

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Flexible Drawdown Pension Plans

Recent changes to legislation have created a new category in pension plans; Flexible Drawdown. These plans offer access to lump sums from your pension fund as and when required. Many early adopters are using this feature to pay for that long deferred holiday of a lifetime or to help with university fees for their grandchildren.

There are certain conditions however:

  • A Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) of at least £20,000 per annum from an invested pension in addition to the drawdown plan.
  • A minimum age limit of 55.
  • Once this option has been taken you will no longer be able to make pension contributions to a defined contribution pension scheme or be an active member of any defined benefit scheme.

Whether your current provider offers a flexible drawdown facility or not, the process is relatively straightforward. However there may be transfer costs to weigh up against benefits, a number of policies to choose from plus tax considerations which can make the decision more complex. Taking our qualified, impartial advice means you’ll be able to make informed decisions and ensure you receive a policy tailored to your requirements.

If you’d like to find out more about your Flexible Drawdown options, please contact us to arrange a free initial consultation.

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Contribution reviews

It’s vital to review your pension fund regularly. We recommend an annual review which includes pension fund performance, your attitude to risk and contribution levels to maximise your fund value at retirement.

The benefits of increasing a regular contribution are best highlighted via this example*:

  • A male, aged 30 will reach state pension age at 68.
  • Assuming growth of 7%, if his contributions were £100 gross per month, the potential fund value would be approximately £190,000.
  • If his contributions increased at 5% per annum, the fund value would be £381,585. An annual increase of 5% could double the value of your pension pot.

*(Source – O&M Pensions Profiler, 30 November 2010).

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Pension reform

Recent legislation has seen the state pension age for women increase to 65 (from April 2010) and from 2046 it will increase to 68 for everyone.

To check your state pension age, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have a state pension age calculator on their website; you can find it here.

“Population projections suggest that the number of people aged 65 and over will almost double by 2055. The DWP estimates that around 7 million people are not saving enough to deliver the pension income they are likely to want or expect in retirement” Source – PADA

Don’t let yourself be one of those 7 million people who are not saving enough. Remember the sooner you start the better and to ensure you’re providing for the retirement you’d wish for, you should review your retirement plans every year.

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2012 sees the launch of NEST (National Employment Savings Trust), a new workplace pension scheme designed to meet the needs of people who are largely new to pensions saving and their employers.

The Braemar Pension & SIPP is fully authorised and entirely suitable as a workplace pension scheme and comes with the additional benefit of a market leading annual management charge as well as flexibility and tailored advice.

If you’re an employer or employee and would like to find out more about the Braemar Pension & SIPP or how the launch of NEST may affect you, please arrange to see us.