Everything you need to know about pensions
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We ask the pension questions you most want to know.
Naomi Haynes from Naomi Haynes Financial Planning in Hatfield debunks some common-held pension myths and explains how she can make retirement planning simple and stress-free.
Q: What are three important things to know about pensions?
A: First, that you can contribute to a pension yourself. You don’t have to be earning money to pay into one, and can still earn 20 per cent tax relief on any pension contributions.
Second, you don’t need lots of money to have a pension. Just making a small monthly contribution can help you grow your savings and get financially fit. I’ve helped people from ages five to 74 get a pension and you can even have one from the day you’re born.
Third, investing is nothing to be afraid of - pensions help to preserve and grow your hard-earned money. I can help you manage your investments, assess the right amount of risk to take, diversify your portfolio to minimise loss, and grow your savings in a tax-efficient fund.
Q: What is a defined contribution pension and what are the benefits of having one?
A: A defined contribution pension, also known as a money purchase pension or (as I like to call them) money pot pension, is built from contributions made by you and an employer, investment returns, and tax relief. It’s the most common type of pension, and the income you’re able to receive from one depends on the amount paid in, fund performance, and how the pension is taken.
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Having one can offer you peace of mind, help you support your family in later life and can even be used to reduce your earnings so you can receive child benefit, or regain your personal allowance (if you earn over £100,000).
Q: What is the Gender Pension Gap?
A: The Scottish Widows Women and Retirement Report 2020 found on average, women in their 20s today are on course to retire with £100,000 less in their pension pot than a man the same age. This is called the Gender Pension Gap. Given that research also suggests that the average UK man doesn't have enough in their pension pot to adequately support them in later life, this doesn't bode well for women.
Women tend to live longer than men, and are commonly believed to have additional care needs, meaning on average, they need a larger income, or pot of money than men to see them through retirement.
Therefore, it's vitally important to seek professional financial advice to help you understand your options and what you can do to grow your pension savings. I can help ensure you’ve put enough aside to live comfortably, care for your family and enjoy your later years.
Q: How can you plan for retirement?
A: The first step is to understand your current financial position. Use the government pension tracing service, or I can help you review and value your existing pension pots. Once you understand how much money you have, it will be easier to plan, budget and save. Seeking professional advice, sooner rather than later, can help you achieve your financial aspirations.
Q: How can you access your pension?
A: You can access your pension from the age of 55, (or later depending on your pension) and sometimes earlier if you’re seriously ill. Since the 2015 Pension Freedoms Act, there are more pension options and these give you the ability to control your money.
You can purchase an annuity, take your 25 per cent tax-free cash, draw down from your pension in small lumps, or withdraw the full amount. It’s important to understand both the short-term and long-term implications of your decision, as you need your pension to last.
I can help advise which decision is best for you and use cash-flow models to illustrate the impact of the choices you make, helping you discover the right option for you and your family. I offer holistic financial and tailored advice, suited to your circumstances, helping you take control of your money and prepare for the future.
Naomi has over 20 years’ experience in financial services, banking and asset management, and Naomi Haynes Financial Planning is an Associate Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.
The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select, and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.
The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief is dependent on individual circumstances.
Naomi Haynes Financial Planning is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The 'St. James's Place Partnership' and the titles 'Partner' and 'Partner Practice' are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.