"As a pensions expert I have helped design, implement and monitor and mature pension plans for clients for over 20 years. In that time tax legislation has changed, people’s attitude to risk has altered, and the investment markets have fluctuated wildly. It is important that in an ever changing world, the provision of expert, professional and impartial advice is constant and available. We have helped guide clients through these times and assist them every step of the way."
s a pensions expert I have helped design, implement and monitor and mature pension plans for clients for over 20 years. In that time tax legislation has changed, people’s attitude to risk has altered, and the investment markets have fluctuated wildly. It is important that in an ever changing world, the provision of expert, professional and impartial advice is constant and available. We have helped guide clients through these times and assist them every step of the way.
Pensions have become more complex in recent years and there are now six different types of pre – retirement pension vehicles, a bewildering level of choice in terms of possible investments, and differing tax treatment of contributions depending on the pension vehicle chosen.
- Personal Retirement Savings Account
- Personal Pension
- Company Pension
- Personal Retirement Bond
- Executive Pension
- Self-Administered Pension
Our purpose is to;
- explain the differences between the various pension vehicles
- outline the advantages and pitfalls to you
- to assist in selecting the most appropriate pension vehicle for you
- design and implement an investment strategy which balances your risk / return profile, desired target return and capacity for risk, and whichh uses best in class investment managers
Advantages of Pensions
- Income tax on contributions to the pension
- Tax free investment growth
- Tax free lump sum at retirement
- Tax efficient method of extracting wealth from a corporate structure
- Peace of mind
Post – Retirement
Prior to the Finance Act of 1999, the need for pension advice was limited after a person had taken their retirement benefits. Prior to 1999, at retirement an individual generally took a tax free lump sum, and used the remaining balance of the pension fund to buy a guaranteed income from an insurance company from the rest of his life (now known as annuity route). However the Finance Act of 1999 introduced a second option, in the form of a post-retirement investment vehicle known as an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF).
The introduction of ARF’s increased the need for on-going pension advice after retirement, as the ARF is essentially a pension fund from which a taxable income is taken. A key advantage of an ARF is that the retiree maintains personal control of the assets of the fund, and does not have to surrender them to an insurance company in return for a guaranteed regular income.
However, an ARF is not without its drawbacks, and in particular the threat that a failure to achieve adequate investment returns, coupled with an over-aggressive draw-down of income, or living too long, could result in the Fund expiring before death.
When advising clients on retirement options, we undertake;
- Full fact-finding exercise, establishing total potential retirement income,
- Full report, establishing the advantages and disadvantages of traditional annuity route over ARF and vice versa
- Risk profiling and suggested investment portfolio within agreed risk parameters
- Possible last minute tax effective Additional Voluntary Contributions to pension
- Tax considerations of both possible routes
- Maximising tax free lump sum possible from pension
- Arranging most competitive annuity in market place, if chosen route
- Full liaison facility between insurer and retiree
- On-going advice in relation to ARF if chosen route
The outcome of this exercise is that the intending retiree has full knowledge about his / her options, and all possible consequences and considerations, and is fully aware of any and all implications relating to all retirement options open to him / her.