A Queen for more than a day

Pensions

MoneyPlus Features Team

28th May 2015 at 2:27pm

Should we be taking a leaf out of the Queen’s book and working on into our later years or crowning our achievements with a retirement that suits?

More than impressive

On her Coronation the Queen expressed a wish to be given God’s grace to reign and serve for many years, and with her majesty turning 89 last month it would appear she’s being granted her wish. 9 September 2015 will see her become the longest reigning British monarch in history; she’ll pass the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, or 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes, to be precise.

And Elizabeth’s impressive stats don’t stop there; she’s also been officially crowned the oldest living monarch in the world, gaining this title back in January when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia passed away at the ripe old age of 90. And even Charles is setting records of his own off the back of her longevity; he’s now officially the oldest heir to the throne in British history.

More time

While it’s impressive she’s still doing the day job at 89, I think I’d be right in saying that it’s not a choice that would suit us all. For one, I can’t envisage myself penning blogs at 89 and will have hopefully rested my quill long before then.

But statistics show we’re now living longer. Thanks to improvements in health, diet and preventative health care we’ve seen the average life expectancy in Britain increase by 30 years during the 20th century. And with life expectancy on the increase we could now be spending longer in retirement than ever.

In today’s terms, if the Queen had decided to take a back seat and retire at 55 she’d now be summering at Balmoral having spent 34 years in retirement, that’s longer than many of us actually spend in work and she’d need a healthy pension fund to fuel that.

With this increase in life expectancy there are two key elements to consider – making sure any pension you have lasts, and if you’ve not yet retired, making sure you save as much as you can for as long as you can to fund it.

More choice

The new pension legislation that came into effect on 6 April 2015 could help give us more control over how we make our pots last and even how we pass it on. But with more options comes decisions and it’s important we make the right ones.

To make these decisions informed, it’s critical we understand what our options are. Our research shows that four out of five people aren’t aware of how pension changes will affect them. And when the changes came into effect in April, these findings were further compounded by the number of calls we received from customers seeking guidance on what their options were.

As it’s clear there’s still some confusion around new pension freedoms, we thought now might be a good time to republish a handy graphic we produced back in January. Our graphic should help bust some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the changes and hopefully help with any questions you might have.

Pension Myths 560px wide

More insight

If you’d like more information on the changes to pensions and your options, it’s well worth using the Money Advice Service or check out our ‘Get ready for retirement’. Also our Consumer Finance Expert Julie Hutchison has produced a video ‘7 things to know about pension reforms’ that could help give you some valuable pointers too.

So take your time, look at what’s available, use the guides and tools on hand, and don’t forget we’ll be #ReadyWhenUAre

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook.