Retirement Planning

Retirement Planning is a fundamental part of most people’s financial plans, which shouldn’t be a surprise given that many people dream of the day they can put their feet up and enjoy the extra time they have to themselves.

Ultimately, it’s about having enough capital and income to be able to live the lifestyle you want, which means you need to accumulate sufficient assets to do so. These assets could comprise businesses, investments, pensions (either personal plans or those funded by your business) or properties (or ideally a combination of all of these assets) and many business people will use assets other than pensions to fund for retirement (whether they intend to actually retire or not!).

It is important however, to consider your business and personal assets as part of your overall planning to ensure that they compliment each other. Even if you do not necessarily ‘need’ a pension, there can be significant tax advantages of funding pensions such as tax relief on contributions, tax efficient fund growth and potential Inheritance Tax advantages. We provide advice to enable you to fully understand whether making contributions personally, or from your business is the most suitable course of action for your own particular circumstances.

There are two stages to pension planning - the ‘Pension Accumulation Phase’, which is the period of time you spend building your pension funds and the ‘Pension Vesting Phase’, which is when you actually start to take your pension benefits.

There are many pension arrangements designed specifically for owners, directors and key employees such as Self-Administered, Self-Invested and Executive Pension Schemes and we will advise you as to the most suitable to meet your own objectives, or provide you with advice as to whether the scheme you currently have in place remains appropriate for your needs.

When building funds during the Accumulation Phase, one of the key decisions is how to invest your funds. This will be dictated by your attitude to investment risk, timescale, the investment options available within the scheme and whether you wish to ‘Self-Invest’ (for example in commercial property, perhaps even your own business premises).

We will conduct regular reviews with you to ensure your plans remain on track and to take into account any changes to your circumstances, investment conditions and legislation. For example, we regularly advise businesses regarding existing schemes they have that are no longer suitable in meeting their objectives, perhaps because the contract charges are high, the investment options are limited or simply because legislative changes mean that more appropriate schemes are now available. However, it is important to understand the potential disadvantages of changing pension schemes and we will provide you with sufficient information in this regard to enable you to make an informed decision.

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