Planning your retirement is set to get easier from April 2016, as the Queen’s Speech [...]
Short term pain really can lead to long term gainCreated by Verity in Retirement and pensions
The art of getting more income in retirement
There are very few things in life where a short period of effort and research really can lead to long term gains for the rest of your life. Diets come and go, exercise needs to be sustained and it’s probably safe not to mention the medical metaphors. However planning your retirement is one of the few exceptions where a short amount of effort on your part really does pay off in the long run.
If you have been prudent during your working life and saved in a personal pension, from the age of 55 you can start to take benefits from your pension including 25% of the fund as a tax free lump sum. The remaining fund has to be used to secure an income in retirement. The most popular way of doing this is to buy an annuity. An annuity provides a guaranteed amount for the rest of your life.
Now here’s the catch. Even if your pension company did a great job and ensured the fund when you reached retirement age was as high as could be and the charges were relatively low, there is a very good chance that they will not be the best annuity provider in the market. The difference between annuity rates from different providers can be staggering. On average it is up to 35% a year more. The important thing to know is that if you subsequently find out you could have achieved 35% more income for the rest of your life, you can not change or cancel an annuity. It is an insurance contract for life. To put this into context, most people could live for more than 20 years in retirement, therefore 35% more for the rest of your life will be thousands of pounds.
I can almost hear the frustration and anxiety that unfortunately the short term pain may be unbearable. I have recently changed utility companies and bank accounts and it was torture and the thought of dealing with pension and insurance companies can fill most people with dread. Fortunately, you do not need to do the hard work as companies like Happy2retire are independent retirement experts and will do all the hard work for you, for free, as they receive a commission from the annuity company.
For the short term pain of filling in your contact details or giving them a call they will explain the options available to you, source the whole market and provide you with the highest annuity on the market. They will complete as much of the application form as possible (you will still have to sign it), chase the pension company to transfer funds to the annuity company and keep you informed of progress. As well as discussing annuity options Happy2retire could also discuss the other options you have in retirement such as income drawdown and asset backed annuities which will be discussed in detail in a later newsletter.
Now, all in all if you are reaching retirement soon and you have a personal pension, it is really worth the time and effort to shop around and get the best deal you can. You only retire once and therefore it is important you make the most of your pension pot. For more information or to see our TV advert, visit www.happy2retire.co.uk or call 0800 210 1000 and say you’re from Grannynet!
Contributed by Happy2retire.co.uk