Guide to choosing how to access your pension savings

GUIDE TO CHOOSING HOW TO ACCESS YOUR PENSION SAVINGSA guide to choosing how to access your pension savings.

Your pension can often seem like an abstract concept among the early morning commutes, home purchases, new jobs and other events that make up the average person’s working life. However, when you begin to reach the end of employment, the abstract suddenly becomes very real.

Is your retirement priority to attain a steady level of income to help you see out your days in comfort, or do you have other designs for your pension savings?

Either way, you will have to decide how you are going to access your pension. The variety of different options open to you will have wide-reaching effects on the rest of your life.

Beginners Guide To Using Trusts

BEGINNERS GUIDE TO USING TRUSTSBeginners guide to using trusts in England and Wales.

Trusts are a legal arrangement that enables you to transfer the ownership of assets such as cash, property and investments to a trustee, or group of trustees. The trustees then manage the assets and pass them on to beneficiaries according to your own private wishes.

Placing any of assets into a trust has several key benefits. Most importantly, they are tax-efficient vehicles that can ensure that you pass on as much of your estate to your loved ones as possible.

Distributing your assets to your beneficiaries from a trust is also considerably easier than doing so with a will, allowing your family and friends to avoid the drawn-out probate process.

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When it comes to the new state pension, recent research as identified that:

18% of those due to retire after 6 April 2016 don’t believe they will qualify for the £155-a-week flat rate State Pension.

Nearly half of those believe they’ll miss out due to taking career breaks to raise children.

State Pension changes
Topping up National Insurance contributions could help those who won’t reach the threshold of 35 years in employment to avoid missing out.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) adults do not believe they will qualify for the full flat rate State Pension of £155 a week, which is due to come into effect on 6 April 2016, according to new research from Prudential.

Twenty one per cent of women believe they will miss out, compared with 14 per cent of men. This gender difference means that women think they are less likely to make the equivalent of the 35 years of National Insurance (NI) contributions needed to qualify.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of those who think they will miss out believe they will do so as a result of taking career breaks to raise children, although 20 per cent say they will not meet the target due to long-term illness.

However, for those who fail to clock-up the necessary 35 years in employment, additional years can be bought in voluntary contributions, or can be credited to those who receive Jobseekers Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. People who claim child benefit for children under the age of 12, those who are unable to work through illness, and carers can also claim added years.2

The research found that only 14 per cent of adults who believe they won’t reach 35 years in employment will make voluntary additional NI contributions, to ensure they qualify for the full State Pension.

Prudential’s research was conducted among people born after 6 April 1950 and found that 27 per cent of those aged 55-plus were not aware of the State Pension reforms. This figure rises to 53 per cent, among the total adult population. There is also confusion around how much the new State Pension will be worth. On average, those surveyed believe it will be worth £125 a week, compared with the actual £155 a week, although one in nine (11 per cent) thought it would be £170 a week.

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