Since the financial crisis and with people living longer, we now realise that we need to look beyond state provision if we are to have a happy retirement.

In the past there were no decisions to make at retirement. Employers provided pre-determined pension rights, the State provided a weekly pension and if you had any pension funds it was a matter of choosing the best annuity.

These days with people living longer and the recession reminding us that things aren’t always as comfortable as they seem, it’s time to realise that retirement planning is essential and that we need to look far beyond state provision as a source of retirement funding.

Pension planning falls into two basic categories – the accumulation stage (funding FOR retirement) and de-accumulation stages (your options AT retirement).

The accumulation stage is simple, work out how much you’re going to put into your pension and we can help work out what you can expect in retirement. Regular reviews are essential to make sure you are on target for your desired amount and whether any adjustments need to be made.

The de-accumulation stage is not quite as easy as there are various different options available when you actually retire. Income drawdown is something that you may wish to consider, depending on your expectations, circumstances and attitude to risk. The general benefits of drawdown are those of flexibility – important if you expect your requirements may change from one year to the next. Alternatively, if you are looking for greater security, you may prefer to purchase an annuity, pre-determining a fixed amount of income.

In addition to this the new reforms introduces in April 2015 have introduced pension freedoms for you to consider which allow a greater choice when deciding how to take the benefits from your pension fund.

Either way we can advise on the best way to access your money as and when you need it. We can also walk you through the various tax scenarios and work out how to reduce the tax bill if your pension is to be left to someone after you die.

The levels, basis and reliefs from taxation are subject to the individual circumstances of the investor.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation advice.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested.

For further details call one of our specialists on 01908 303689.