Retirement Planning and Pensions

There are a number of developments in the world of pensions, including Auto Enrolment, topping up State Pensions and the new Pensions Freedom rules allowing more flexible access to pensions; all of which need advice from qualified advisers.

Auto Enrolment

The Auto Enrolment issue has been rolling since 2012, where the largest companies in the country have been enrolling their staff into appropriate workplace pensions. It is now falling on smaller companies to comply with the legislation.

From April 2014 to April 2015, the average number of employers reaching their staging date each month has been 2,479, from May 2015 to April 2017, the figure increases to 51,134.

Between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017 there will be over 700,000 companies staging.

This is a massive number of companies and most need help and advice. But if you leave it too late, there will be no help available as advisers will be inundated and pension providers will have closed their doors.

A pension is a long term savings plan. Auto Enrolment is an extension of this concept where you as the employer make a contribution, as does the tax man and your employees. You as the employer are responsible for:

  • Selecting a suitable arrangement that complies with government requirements
  • Collecting the contribution from the employee
  • Making a contribution from the company

As with any savings plan, the returns will only be as good as the underlying investments. This is where advice is required to ensure the arrangement you select is suitable for your employees and the underlying investment options will perform to expectation.

Employing the services of a Financial Adviser to provide advice to your staff can be a very cost effective employee benefit and should not be underestimated.

If you are an employer and you need help and advice on Auto Enrolment, please do speak to us as soon as possible on 0121 693 5000.

Topping up your State Pension

If you are a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953, for a limited period you can top up your state pension by up to £25 per week.

The cost varies according to age but, as an example, it would cost a 68 year old £4,135 to buy an extra £25 per week state pension.

Pension Freedom

The new Pension Freedoms introduced in April 2015 has created great opportunities for income flexibility and ultimately using your pension plan to benefit future generations.

If you are at or above age 55, you are affected and should seek advice. If you are below age 55 you need to understand the new rules to appreciate the attraction of contributing to a plan.