Pension Options at Retirement
Thankfully no one is forced to buy an annuity these days. But the options are now so many it is difficult to see the wood for the trees.
But they all boil down to whether you prefer a guaranteed income for life or whether you’d rather, and can afford to, keep control of your pension capital and accept the relative uncertainty that comes with a sensible investment strategy.
We’d be delighted to help you make an informed choice.
For a copy of our Consumer Guide to Retirement Options click here
Pension Transfer Guidance
‘Final Salary’ pensions always used to be best left alone. And usually still are.
But with interest rates so very low, it is quite common for a £10,000 pa company pension due to start in a year or so, to translate into a transfer value that can be paid into a personal pension of around £300,000.
In many situations the transfer value alternative can be very attractive, especially for those in less than perfect health or who are experienced investors with a good grip of their household finances.
We charge nothing for an informal conversation and just £350 for a basic feasibility report.
Pensions and Divorce
Pension sharing has been around since 2000 and is usually better than earmarking when a simple ‘offset’ isn’t possible.
The whole thing is sometimes genuinely complicated, but more often it is made far more difficult than it needs to be.
We’d be very glad to help at any stage of the proceedings and we are always happy to have an informal chat.
Investments for Trustees
We adopt our usual ‘no nonsense’ approach to help trustees meet the competing needs of beneficiaries. There is no need to make things complicated.
We are happy to sit down with first time trustees and explain their duties under the Trustee Act 2000, and how they apply in the real world to making sensible investment choices.
Life tenants need realistic income expectations and timescales are paramount in the design of a suitable investment approach.
The ‘dead settlor’ rule was finally put to rest in March 1998 but investment bonds are still an excellent solution for discretionary trusts.
Trusts with income-entitled beneficiaries are better off with Oeics etc. as investment bonds are technically , of course, non-income generating.
Life and Health Insurance
Simple life assurance is very important. And can be cheaper than insuring a mobile ‘phone.
And it’s worth doing right. For instance, if you have a family history of diabetes you might want to choose a provider who’s underwriting doesn’t interrogate such details. Or if you have a dangerous job, an oil-rig worker say, you may benefit by using a provider that doesn’t distinguish between occupations.
If you want a feel for the cost of cover please just call, or click here for a copy of our Practical Protection Guide.
Investing for IHT Mitigation
There are plenty of IHT-exempt investments out there. As usual the simpler ones are often better than the ‘over-engineered’.
But the first step is really to check the practical stuff with a good probate solicitor. Getting your wills set up properly may be all that you need to do.
One quick tip for business owners; just because your main asset is a business you should not assume it will qualify for business property relief. At any one time there are usually several cases going through the courts to resolve disputes between beneficiaries and HMRC on this issue. Your accountant will be able to advise on the best structure for your business and, sometimes, it may be best to ‘carve out’ the obviously qualifying parts from the rest.
And don’t forget it’s not all just about tax. If your only daughter gets divorced after she’s inherited your whole estate, half your life’s work could be awarded to your cheating son-in-law and his new family.
Similar problems arise with second marriages and also for business partnerships.
As ever, we are always happy to have an informal chat to gauge the scale of any IHT problem and the best ways to address it.