Options at retirement

A lot has been written about the new options and most people probably know they can convert their pension pot into cash or income (after taking 25% as a tax-free sum) in one of the following ways:

  • As a cash sum – less tax at your marginal rate
  • Purchasing an annuity – guaranteed income for life no matter how long you live
  • Pension drawdown – taking regular income payments directly from your pension pot

If you want more information on the options, please read my guide You and Your Pension Pot (sponsored by Prudential)

Key questions

However, before you decide which option is the most suitable for your circumstances you owe it yourself (and to your family) to take some time to ask yourself some really important questions:

  • When is the best time to take cash or income?
  • How much cash or income do you need now and in the future?
  • How much risk should you take and how much risk can you take?
  • Will you be paying too much tax?
  • What is your (and your partner’s) life expectancy and what is the state of your health?
  • What should happen after your death?

At first sight, these questions may appear simple, but in practice they are some of the most difficult questions in personal finance.

Important issues

Before you can answer these questions, you need to understand some important issues including:

  • Are annuities good value at current levels?
  • What is the right level of drawdown income and what is the best investment strategy?
  • Are there other alternatives to conventional annuities and standard drawdown?
  • What is the outlook for annuities, interest rates, inflation and the stockmarket?
  • Will the government change pension rules and options in the future?

The next step

If you are serious about making the right decisions you should speak to William Burrows who can give you expert and specialised advice on all aspects of annuities and drawdown.

William Burrows provides a personal service which normally involves three steps:

  • Put your ‘toe in the water’ – William will explain your options and discuss the key questions and important issues
  • Compare and contrast your options – He will prepare a report setting out the options which are relevant to your circumstances
  • Make an advice recommendation*

There is no cost or commitment for putting your ‘‘toe in the water’’ and if you think the water is at the right temperature William will explain the advice process in more detail and agree costs and fees.