New Pension Rules

A wise old owl lived in an oak

The more he saw the less he spoke

The less he spoke the more he heard.

Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird.

Things have certainly changed since these words of advice appeared in their original form in the magazine, ‘Punch’ almost exactly one hundred and forty years ago. We live in changing times and it is important that, up to date Information and Advice is readily available, so the silent approach taken by the wise old owl no longer applies.

If you are planning for retirement for example there is a lot of information of which you should be aware to enable you to plan for your future.  Here are some basic steps to take:

–                get financial advice if you have a personal pension – new rules offer a lot more freedom than applied in the past)

–                work out how much is left to pay on your mortgage (if you have one) – you might want to pay off what’s left with a tax free lump sum from your pension pot, again get financial advice first

–                work out your budget to make sure you’ll have enough money to live on

–                get an estimate of your state pension -theGOV.UK state pension calculator can help you  with this

–                get in touch with all your pension providers and let them know you’re planning for retirement – they’ll usually send you important information about your pension

–                track down any pension providers that you’ve lost contact with – the Pension Tracing Service can help with this. Call them on 0845 6002 537 or use their online form to find a lost pension

–                check whether you’re entitled to any benefits for older people – you might be able to get benefits like Carer’s Allowance, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction

–                consider leaving your pension pot to someone when you die – there’ll be tax implications for doing this, so you should talk to your pension provider or an independent financial adviser

–                work out what money you’ll have coming in and think about how your spending might change once you’re retired

From April 2015, you’ll have more options for how you can take a ‘defined contribution’ personal pension. A defined contribution pension is a pension pot that you or an employer adds to over time – the amount you can take when you retire will depend on how much is in the pension pot.

Some Citizens Advice Bureaux will be offering free face-to-face pensions sessions to help explain the new options for taking your pension. You’ll be eligible if:

–                you have a defined contribution pension pot

–                you’re very close to retirement age (ie 54 and 6 months or older)

The sessions will start in April – you can register your interest onGOV.UK or call your local CAB

Share this article