Now is not the time to neglect your pension - keep your planning on track!

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The Coronavirus outbreak is having a widespread impact across all aspects of our financial life, with many people finding their income reduced. At times like this it can be challenging to stay focused. No matter what age you are, now is not the time to neglect your pension. Try your very best to keep your pension planning and contributions on track – don't allow the pandemic to cast a cloud over your long-term plans.

It's never too early to start saving into a pension…
You should start saving for retirement as soon as possible, as the sooner you begin, the longer your savings have to grow. Other financial challenges can make this difficult but investing regular amounts in a pension throughout your working life gives you the best chance of enjoying a prosperous retirement.

…but better late than never
Don't think it's too late to start saving for your retirement. The favourable tax treatment pensions enjoy and their potential for investment growth, means any contributions you make later in life can still make a huge difference to your standard of living in retirement.

Take control of your retirement
When you reach 55, it's important to carefully consider what you can do with your pension pot. For instance, you could keep your savings invested, take a cash lump sum, draw a flexible income (drawdown), buy a fixed income (an annuity), or a combination of these. While this flexibility may enable you to retire earlier or semi-retire, it's vital you take full control of your retirement options at this stage. This should include seeking advice to discuss the pros and cons of the different avenues available to you.

Know your numbers
You can contribute as much as you like into your pension, but there is a limit on the amount of tax relief you will receive each year. The Annual Allowance is currently £40,000, or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower. You can, however, carry forward unused allowances from the past three years, provided you were a pension scheme member during those years.

For the 2020-21 tax year the Tapered Annual Allowance limits altered. The Threshold Adjusted Income limit is £200,000 and the Adjusted Income Limit is £240,000. If your income plus pension contributions exceeds the Adjusted Income Limit, your Annual Allowance is reduced by £1 of every £2 you are over the Adjusted Income Limit. A Lifetime Allowance also places a limit on the amount you can hold across all your pension funds without having to pay extra tax when you withdraw money. This limit is currently £1,073,100.

Get good advice
Retirement planning is never a case of 'one size fits all'. It is vital you obtain sound financial advice tailored to your individual needs. We offer advice and help with all aspects of pensions and retirement planning, whether you're just starting out and want help choosing the most appropriate pension products, or you're approaching the stage of life when you need to utilise your pension pot and want to know the most efficient way to access your funds. We are here to help.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen. 

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Saturday, 28 November 2020

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