Local Pension planning advice needed

local pension planning advice
local pension planning advice

Article by Phil

Local Pension planning advice needed

We know from almost every piece of research that we see that more local pension planning advice is badly needed to help people achieve their retirement goals. But the latest survey from Standard Life (reported in Financial Planning 19/10/23) shows just how much help is needed.

According to the survey:

  • 32% said that planning for their retirement was the lowest ranked “task” that they had to do.
  • The most important “tasks” were planning holidays and managing hair appointments!
  • Of those who had got around to taking local pension planning advice and paying into their pension, 30% wished they had started the process earlier.
  • Less than 20% said that they were confident that their retirement plans were sufficient for their needs.
  • Of those who had used a financial advisor almost 90% reported feeling more confident about their finances.
  • 33% were much more confident.

The survey also looked at how people were feeling about their overall finances during the current cost of lockdown crisis. People were most worried about decisions they were making around their savings, their debt and their investments most of all. 40% of people said they were stressed about their finances, 32% were anxious and only a quarter felt that they were coping with the current climate.

In a similar survey Nextwealth found that:

  • 41% of people didn’t think that they would be able to afford a comfortable retirement.
  • 45% had not worked out how much they would need to retire comfortably.
  • 15% of over 40’s admitted to not saving anything for their retirement, whilst:
  • Only 19% said they were confident that they were prepared for retirement.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom.

There were positive results from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) “wake up your pension” campaign last year, which according to the ABI

  • Generated 28 million advertising impressions across multiple media channels
  • With 20% of people remembering seeing the message
  • That in turn “inspired” over 2.5 million people to look at their pension arrangements and take some kind of local pension planning advice action
  • Seen by Pension providers noting a 30% increase in contact after the campaign

The campaign is being run again this year fronted by TV Presenter Timmy Mallet.

Before asking for local pension planning advice, one place to start is to find out if you have any lost pensions. If you can believe it 29th October was National Pension Tracing Day.

Help is available from the government’s pension contact website here, or try the Association of British Insurers website here. It’s estimated that there are over 2.8 million pension pots which are “lost”, worth on average over £9,500 each. That’s over £26 billion in pension funds waiting to be claimed. Is some of that yours? It’s worth finding out.

In other news. According to a recent survey by Canada Life (FT Adviser 24/10/23) over half of need to think about Will writing because they haven’t had one.

The survey found that:

  • 57% of adults had not made a Will.
  • That’s over 30 million people.
  • 33% of those were over 55.
  • 12% said they would never write a Will.
  • 14% thought they didn’t need a Will because their family would automatically get their money.
  • 16% said that they would get around to Will writing at some point.
  • 15% had no idea how to go about it.

The main reason for not making a Will was the assumption that they didn’t have enough money or assets to give away.

Making a will is often done at the same time as Trust planning to mitigate Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. IHT is affecting more and more families with the treasury set to rake in over £7 billion this year. Frozen IHT limits have brough more families into the IHT trap. The current limit of £325,000 would have been closer to £500,000 if it had tracked inflation. Freezing the limit has now cost families paying over the maximum relief £169,000 in extra tax. That’s a lot of money for families to pay just because the government has chosen to freeze increases. It’s what is known as a stealth tax and a very expensive one at that.

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