By understanding your goals, we are able to structure your investment portfolio with the ability to focus on these key milestones.
Planning for retirement involves a combination of planning tools including ‘buy to let’ property investments; property downsizing; selling businesses; and generating investment income from accumulated savings & investments as well as saving through traditional occupational or personal pension plans.
However, saving for retirement via a pension plan offers highly attractive tax incentives;
- Tax relief on contributions at the highest marginal rate of tax
- Tax exempt growth in underlying investments
- Tax free cash when drawing pension benefits from age 55 onwards
- Access to part or all funds after age 55
- Pension funds can be left to spouse/partner and family members free from IHT
At Ethos, we spend the early years of planning helping our clients to identify how much income in they are looking to achieve in when they retire. From this goal we can then recommend the level of regular saving required to reasonably generate the income required – we call this net income targeting! Our regular review process will check the both the goals and performance of the investments to ensure that they are aligned and are on track.
Pension planning involves a great deal of technical rules and regulations that are constantly changing. Through our advisary process we guide our clients to ensure that they have chosen the most effective type of pension plan which will be most suitable to their needs. We will also review existing plans and arrangements to make sure that they offer the best possible future returns or whether it would be in the client’s best interests to consider transferring past pensions into a more suitable, state of the art, pension arrangement.
The ‘Pension freedom’ regulations which came into force in 2015 allows us all to have far greater access to our pension funds once we reach 55. Previously we were only able to take pension income as a guaranteed regular income often by way of a monthly fixed pension annuity income after taking a tax free cash sum.
Now we have so much additional choice including the ability to keep our funds invested whilst drawing down a regular income; or to take further lump sums from funds which will be subject to marginal rates of income tax. The freedoms offer so much additional choice and flexibility but also they also greatly increase the risk of making poor decisions, for example, clients could end up paying higher tax on funds withdrawn or could see their funds run out leaving them with an income shortfall for the rest of their lives.