Countdown to a comfortable retirement
Looking forward to retirement?
Whether you’ve accumulated a pension pot through one or more company pension schemes, have other savings and investments, or are simply relying on the State pension, you shouldn’t leave your retirement planning to the last moment.
Whatever age you think you’d like to retire you should really start planning well in advance for the day you'll have to rely on the income from your pension savings.
The sooner and more carefully you do this, the more chance you have of being able to live comfortably on your pension income. We’ve outlined a plan of action for you:
Countdown to retirement
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Many of us have more than one job during our lifetime and, as a result, have accumulated funds in a number of company or private pension schemes. If this applies to you, you should check how much each of these is likely to be worth – and form an idea of what kind of income they could provide.
Your pension provider should provide an annual forecast telling you what your fund is worth and what you can expect to receive at your planned retirement age. However, it’s easy to lose track of a pension if you’ve changed jobs over the years.
Don’t worry. The Pensions Tracing Service may be able to help by providing current contact details for the pension scheme. You can then contact the pension provider and find out if you are entitled to a pension.
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With just six months until you retire it’s time to check your State pension rights. You can decide to retire before you reach the State pension age, or you could work on past it.
Either way, this could affect how much you receive. The amount of State Pension you get depends on how many years of National Insurance contributions you have.
If you wish to work past the official State Pension retirement age, you can still take your State Pension or you can put off taking it. There are benefits to putting it off and it’s worth finding out more.
You should also talk to a financial adviser. They'll be able to explain your pension rights, tell you how much you are likely to receive and advise you about the best approach in your circumstances.
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You won’t receive your State Pension automatically. You have to apply for it. However, you should have received a State Pension Information Booklet and an invitation to apply at least four months before you reach retirement age.
If you haven’t booklet three months before you reach State Pension age, the quickest and simplest way to claim is to ring the State Pension claim line on 0800 731 7898.
If you have speech or hearing difficulties, you could also use the textphone service on 0800 731 7339. Or, you could download the State Pension claim form at www.direct.gov.uk, print it out, and send it to your local pension centre.
Now’s also the time to start looking closely at your annuity options.
If you have a company or private pension plan, you will have received an offer of an annuity from your provider. It will seem to be the easiest thing in the world just to sign the form and accept the offer, but you don’t have to.
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It’s time to start looking at your options.
If you have a company or private pension plan, you'll have received an offer of an annuity from your provider. It will seem to be the easiest thing in the world just to sign the form and accept the offer. But you don’t have to.
You can take the open market option. This gives you the right to shop around to find the best and most appropriate annuity for your needs and circumstances.
When considering your options it’s important to compare a variety of quotes. It's also important to talk to an adviser who can make sure you’re comparing like with like.
They'll help you decide whether you need a single or joint annuity, whether it should guarantee a fixed income, provide an escalating income, or be linked to inflation.
There are so many things to consider and your money is committed until the end of the term which is generally at death. Once you’ve made your decision and taken an annuity you can’t cash it in which is why it's so important to get good advice.
If you call LV= you'll be given a single contact who'll go through the whole process with you from start to finish to make sure you make the decision which is in your best interests.
We offer a range of the protection, pension, annuity and investment products from the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. We also offer annuities and investments from a limited number of other companies – you can ask for a list of these.
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There are different types of annuities to suit different needs and circumstances.
If you have more than one pension plan or scheme you might get a better income by combining them, although you don’t have to use them all at the same time.
Your personal circumstances, your health, and your likely financial needs in the future will all affect the advice you are given and the type of annuity you choose. If indeed you choose to take an annuity at all, as there are other options.
Your LV= annuities adviser will explain everything clearly and simply, to make sure you make the best decision for you. If you choose an LV= annuity your dedicated annuities adviser will talk you through it every step of the way. They’ll do all the hard work, fill in all the forms, and complete all the paperwork for you. All you have to do is sign for the annuity that’s best for you.
To get the most out of your pension talk to an expert at LV=.
There is no such thing as a silly question
Do I have to buy an annuity through my pension provider?
No. You can choose who you buy your annuity from - it doesn't have to be with the company that you used to build up your pension fund. (This is known as the open market option). The amount of income you get from your annuity will vary between different insurance companies, so it's a good idea to do some comparisons before making your decision
Will I have to pay tax on my annuity income?
The income shown on your personal quote will be gross (before tax).
Your income will normally be taxed under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, which is similar to tax on employment income. Tax is deducted according to your tax code, and passed into HM Revenue & Customs.
How much you pay depends on your personal circumstances. Any reference we make to tax are based on our understanding of current legislation and HM Revenue & Customs practice, which can change.
How will my annuity income be paid?
Your income from your annuity will be paid directly into your bank account.