Cornwall LivingIssue #82

Make it a date

According to research from Standard Life [1], the vast majority of those aged 45 or over are already dreaming about their retirement.

However, only 8% have recently checked the retirement date on their pension plans to ensure they’re on track. The research shows that more than half have no clear idea about when they want to retire, and just one in ten have worked out how much income they’ll need when they do. 

the date you set for retirement on a pension plan matters”

Setting your retirement date on a pension plan matters. Some people will have set this date during their 20s or 30s, and a great deal will have changed since then, including their State Pension age and perhaps their career plans. It may seem like guesswork when you’re younger, but the date you set for retirement on a pension plan matters. It will often dictate how your money is invested and the communications you receive as you approach the date. It’s important to tell your pension company if your planned retirement date changes, or you simply want to take some of your pension without stopping working. Otherwise, you may not receive information and support about your pending retirement at the most helpful times, as they’ll be basing this on your out-of-date plans.

De-risking investments

Some investment options will start to move your pension savings into lower-risk investments as you get closer to retirement, but if you don’t have the right retirement date on your plan, you could be moving into these investments too early – thus missing out on higher investment returns – or too late, exposing your savings to unnecessary risks.

Income for life

If you’re planning to buy an annuity at retirement, which will guarantee you an income for the rest of your life, the amount of income you’ll get will depend on the size of your pot (and annuity rates at that time), your age, your medical history and lifestyle. If you’d rather use your pension savings more flexibly, you can keep your money invested and take it as and when you need. You’re then responsible for making sure your savings last as long as you need them to.

Work longer or retire earlier

Reviewing your retirement date regularly makes sense, and most modern pension plans enable you to update it whenever you choose. It needn’t be the same as your State Pension age – you may want to work longer or retire earlier – but can’t normally be before age 55. Some people who plan to slow down or retire earlier use money from their private pension savings until they can start claiming State Pension. You just need to inform your pension company of your plans, even if they change in the future.

Whatever you want out of retirement, Harris Begley can help you get there. Whether your retirement’s a long way off or just around the corner, having a clear idea of how to achieve your aims is important. To review your situation, contact financial advisors Matt Begley or Steve Rusga.


Source data:

[1] The research was carried out online for Standard Life by Opinium. Sample size was 2,001 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken in November 2017.

The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

"the date you set for retirement on a pension plan matters"