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Private Pension – Options Explained by Keith Littlewood, International Financial Adviser Costa Blanca

Many people have pension pots just sitting, not really doing anything, but at every stage in life it is very important that you should keep track of your retirement provision.

If you are in your 30s or 40s look closely to what provision you have and what you might need in the future. State Benefits are not going to kick in for you until you are 67.

If you are in your 50s then this is a very critical period. One bad investment year can affect the income you receive for the rest of your life, so make sure you are looking at setting your investments up in a balanced way so that no unforeseen disasters can hurt you – this is called ‘Life Styling your Pension Pot’.

What happens if you have no pension left?

Blacktower Financial Management Retirement AdviceMany of you will have read the articles extolling the virtues of the new pension freedoms introduced last April. Indeed, the new freedoms are good in that they don’t mean that pensioners are forced into poor value for money annuity schemes. For some though, the temptation to spend, spend, spend, will be too much and what happens to them?

Type of Pensions – Jargon Buster by Laura Mann Regional Manager Canary Islands

Blacktower FM - Costa Blanca - PensionsAs you already know there are a substantial number of pension types available.  How we came to have them, or what they actually are, still remains a mystery to many of us since these were thrust upon us (to some extent) by well meaning employers way back when.  This week we´re going to bust the Pension Jargon for the types of Pensions available.

Cash Balance Pension

A Cash Balance Pension is a pension arrangement, where your employer promises you a pension pot of a specified amount, when you reach retirement age.  Typically, the amount is calculated as a proportion of your salary for each year of service.  You know how much your pot will be, but there is no promise as to the amount of pension you will be able to buy (or take) from it.

What have you done with your pension money?

BlacktowerFM - Euro PensionsIf you are thinking of cashing in your UK pension or have already done so, what will you be doing with the money?

An in-depth independent survey of Royal London customer behavior reveals a significant number of people, over 26%, have or plan to leave their pension savings languishing in low interest rate bank accounts. This means people run the risk of running out of money too soon and seeing their money dwindle away through poor rates of return.

Pensions Update – by Laura Mann, Regional Manager Canary Islands

Blacktower FM PensionsStill wondering whether to leave your pension in the UK, or move it so that you benefit tax wise as an ex-pat?  Here´s the latest update on what´s happening in the pensions world.

UK:

If you Pension Fund is still held within the UK, since April 2015 most, but not all, Pension Providers have introduced flexibility, in terms of access to Pension Funds within the UK and this is certainly proving to be very popular with many.  Depending on the size of your pot you may be able to access all tax free, or alternatively access 25% tax free at the age of 55 years.

Pension Freedoms. Are they for you?

Readers may remember the pension freedoms announced by George Osborne in 2014.  These became effective on April the 6th this year. The fanfare accompanying the announcement and indeed subsequently is often set against the backdrop of pensioners sat in Daimlers or on Yachts having drawn all their money out and lavished it on some frivolous purchase.

The reforms promised that over 55’s would have access to their pension cash as they pleased whether it was the full amount or in small payments. Or indeed it could be left invested. The choices on offer appeared staggering, always bearing in mind that there are tax implications for taking large sums.

The Plot Thickens on the Pension Agenda…

Laura Mann - Blacktower Financial Management

The announcement made by the UK Government on the 5th of April 2015, regarding the possibility of YOU being able to access your Private Pension Entitlement (at the age of 55 years) resulted in literally thousands of enquiries to each and every Pension Scheme Provider in the UK, from both Expats and UK Residents alike.  No wonder then that the stock response when telephoning, is “We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls…”, “Your call will be answered in approximately … minutes, you may wish to call back at another time.” etc.  Infuriating?  Yes, absolutely!  Well, here´s something else all of you ex-pats need to know…

Pension freedom or Pension Nightmare

Ever since the UK chancellor announced he was going to allow pension freedom on UK private pensions from April 2015 the papers have had articles galore on what you can spend your money on, then some started to focus on the fact that there was a nasty sting in the tale for many people who cash in their pension and that was TAX. Now the time is nearly upon us the main concern seems to be the number of scammers and fraudsters that are after your money.  

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