An Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) should always be your first point of contact to obtain free, impartial advice on your pension and retirement planning options. Pension planning can be a minefield for many and with legislation constantly changing, an IFA is best placed to advise you on your options. Premier IFA will connect you with recommended FCA regulated IFAs in your area for free and impartial advice.
Recommended IFAs are the highest rated advisers in your area with a proven track record for providing independent advice so you can be sure you receive the best possible information. They will provide advice on the 'whole of the market' and not just preferred providers.
Independent Financial Advisers are best placed to provide you with impartial advice on a range of pension issues including:
- Personal Pensions
Personal pensions are defined contribution (DC) arrangements meaning that you build up a pot of money that will provide you with retirement benefits. The value of the pension is accumulated through investment contributions paid by yourself and potentially your employer.
They are investment policies that will provide income in retirement and available to any UK resident.
You will contribute to your pension plan to build up the fund and the amount of pension payable when you retire will depend on factors such as:
The amount of money you have paid into the scheme
How well the investment funds perform
The 'annuity rate' at the date of retirement. An annuity rate is the factor used to convert the pot of money into a pension.
Upon retirement, you will usually be able to take 25% of the value of the fund as a tax-free amount with the remainder to be used to buy an annuity which will provide you with a regular annual amount for the rest of your life.
- Stakeholder Pensions
Stakeholder pensions work in a similar way to personal pensions but there are certain criteria:
The pension provider cannot charge more than 1% per annum for administering your fund.
You cannot be asked to make a minimum contribution of more than £20.
You cannot be forced to pay into the fund regularly and there are no penalties for missing or stopping payments.
You can switch your fund to another stakeholder scheme at any time without penalty.
An annuity is your ability to turn your pension into regular income for you and your loved ones for the rest of your life.
You are not obliged to purchase your annuity with your existing pension provider. There are many factors to consider such as whether to have your annuity index linked or whether to have it revert to your spouse in the event of your death.
- Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP)
Self-invested personal pension (SIPP) plans will allow the policy holder greater flexibility in the investment plans of their pension. The plan holder can have control over investment strategy and have the ability to appoint a stockbroker or fund manager.
- Income Drawdown Plans
Income drawdown which is also known as an ‘unsecured pension’ allows you to take income from your pension fund while the fund remains invested and continues to benefit from any fund growth. You generally need a substantial fund value to take income drawdown.
There are rules about the maximum income that can be drawn and dependent on factors such as your age. An IFA is best positioned to give you independent advice as to your options.