Approaching Retirement

The Golden Years?

So you're approaching the age when it's time to start thinking about what you're going to do with the money you've been working hard to save all these years.

Imagine you're retiring today. Have you thought about how you're going to financially support yourself (and potentially your family too) with your current pension savings? The run up to your retirement may feel overwhelming, but this is an important time for you and your savings. We want to ensure you've got everything you need to help with your planning.

Whether you have plans to retire completely or want to scale down your work hours, there are now more options than ever to choose from when thinking about making your savings work for you.

How much might I need? How much might I get?

You can find some really useful tools on the Money Advice Service (MAS) website that will help you to understand how much you might need and how much you might get in retirement. MAS is a service, set up by the government, to provide free and impartial advice to help you understand your finances and plan for your future.

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What are my options?

Before you make a decision, make sure you read all of the information carefully. We also recommend speaking to a financial adviser to ensure you're choosing the option that's right for you and remember you don't have to choose just one option. Bear in mind, you may have to transfer to another plan to take some of these options.

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Annuity

A guaranteed income for the rest of your life

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Drawdown

A flexible retirement income that leaves the rest of your savings invested

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Take a lump sum

You may be able to take one or more lump sums from your plan

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Leave it invested

If you don't need it right now, keep your pension plan where it is


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Good to know

You don't have to fully retire to start claiming your pension savings. In fact, more and more people are choosing to take their pension savings gradually while they scale down their work hours.

So, from the age of 55, there is an option to access your pension savings and ease into retirement gently, but don't forget you need to make sure that you have enough to last for the whole of your retirement. You can retire earlier than age 55 if you are in ill health or have a protected retirement age. This may be relevant to you if you were employed in certain (special or hazardous) occupations or were a member of an occupational pension scheme which gives you the right to take pension benefits earlier. Please refer to your policy/scheme documentation or contact us if you are unsure.

If you're under 75 and seriously ill (unlikely to live more than 12 months) you may be able to take all of your retirement savings as a tax-free lump sum, even if you've not yet reached 55.


What other things do I need to think about?

Plans written under Trust

If your plan is in Trust and you have lost contact with the Trustees, you may want to start looking for them now to avoid any possible delays later.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Have you arranged a Lasting Power of Attorney?

For lots of people a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a great idea. Setting one up in advance can give you peace of mind that, if you get ill in the future and can't make your own decisions, someone you trust will have the legal right to look after your financial affairs and make decisions on your behalf. You can find out more about the benefits of an LPA by downloading our guide.

Taking your state pension

It's important you find out when you can take your state pension and how much it will be. Calculate when you'll reach state pension age and how much you may get on Gov.uk

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Ready to make a decision?

If you've already decided on the right option for you, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Our team will be happy to help.

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Need advice?

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Access a free, impartial government service to help you make sense of your options with Pension Wise

Pension Wise
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If you don't currently have a financial adviser, you can find one near you at unbiased.co.uk

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Or you can read reviews of financial advisers at vouchedfor.co.uk

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