7th February 2018 at 3:46pm
Whether you’re saving, about to take your pension, or spending it, you’d probably welcome some help so that you can get the most from your life savings.
With a lot to look forward to, it makes sense to know what you’re doing, and we can help.
Perhaps you want to understand when and how you can take your money and how you’ll be taxed.
Or you need to find out about tax relief, check how much you can pay in, or make sense of your pension investments.
What are your options when you’re looking for help?
You can call on your financial adviser if you have one. They’ll work with you to make recommendations – they’ll usually charge you for advice.
But if it’s information you’re looking for to help you decide, what are your options?
Guidance comes in a variety of ways. It could be information on a website, using online tools, reading guides, or calling on the phone to get the human touch if you prefer.
Whether it’s about the pension lifetime allowance, charges or something simple like tracking down a lost pension, we can help.
We can give people the information they need so that they can take steps to make the most of their money, whether they feel confident, or don’t know where to start.
Guidance can make a real difference
We had a customer call us recently because they were in poor health. They were looking to take all their pension savings in one go.
They’d built up a large pension and wanted to take it as a cash lump sum and give some money to their children.
We made them aware they’d have to pay a large slice to the taxman if they did that.
Taking the lump sum would mean their income for the year was taxable at the highest rate of 45%. And that tax bill could be hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It would have been different if they were in serious ill health and likely to live less than a year. In that case, they’d have been able to take their pension as a tax-free lump sum.
We also let them know how pensions can be passed on tax efficiently, if their health deteriorated in a few years.
After talking to us, they were able to make a decision that worked for them and their family.
They decided to take some of their 25% tax-free cash allowance and leave the rest in their pension.
They could pass the pension on to their children free of income tax if they died before the age of 75.
And if they lived longer and passed their pension on for their children to take as an income, their children would pay their own rate of income tax on it.
In the end the choice was theirs, but once they knew the facts, it made a difference to what they chose to do for their family.
What was right for them might not be right for your circumstances.
Where to get guidance
It’s worth considering advice from your financial adviser if you have one.
If you don’t, try Unbiased.co.uk, or find out more about advice and financial planning on our website. Please note there is a cost for advice.
Tax and legislation may change and the information here is based on our understanding February 2018 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.
Your own circumstances will have an impact on tax. A pension is an investment and the value can go down as well as up you could get back less than you paid in.