Improving your retirement income

Looking forward to having more time to explore faraway places?

Retirement is a time for you to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps you’re looking forward to having more time to explore faraway places. Or maybe you dream of simply waking up each day and doing whatever takes your fancy. However you see your future, it helps to start planning for it as soon as possible.

The ways that you can take your pension savings changed in April 2015, giving you more choice over how you can access and use the money you’ve saved up. Deciding what to do with your pension is a big decision. To help you in your planning, here are some tips that could help you increase the money you have available in retirement.

Make sure you have details for all your pension pots 

Locate pension pots that you may have forgotten about. The Pension Advisory Service and the Pension Tracing Service can help you to trace forgotten pension pots

Remember to take your State Pension into account. Find out more about your State Pension, including what you might be entitled to and how to claim, on the gov.uk website

Consider topping up your pensions 

Think about topping up your pension in the years leading up to your retirement. That little bit extra could make a difference

Remember: you might be eligible to top up your State Pension too. This could be particularly beneficial if you’re self-employed or a woman, because it’s possible your State Pension entitlement may be low

From age 55, you can draw your pension savings as and when you need them and still pay into your pension. You’ll continue to receive tax relief on your payments up to age 75, although taking benefits flexibly will limit how much you can put in

Consider retiring a little later than you’d originally planned

Delaying your retirement might give your pension fund more chance to grow. Remember, though, if your pension fund remains invested, the value could go down as well up, and you may not get back what you put in. If you defer your retirement, it’s also important to check whether this will affect any state benefits you’re entitled to.

Working part-time for a while after you finish full-time work might enable you to delay drawing money from your State Pension or your pension, meaning your money may last longer when you do retire.

Maybe you fancy trying something new, like setting up your own business. Becoming your own boss could be a good way to stay active and keep earning.

A PENSION IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT.THE FUND VALUE MAY FLUCTUATE AND CAN GO DOWN, WHICH WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LEVEL OF PENSION BENEFITS AVAILABLE. PENSIONS ARE NOT NORMALLY ACCESSIBLE UNTIL AGE 55. YOUR PENSION INCOME COULD ALSO BE AFFECTED BY INTEREST RATES AT THE TIME YOU TAKE YOUR BENEFITS. THE TAX IMPLICATIONS OF PENSION WITHDRAWALS WILL BE BASED ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, TAX LEGISLATION AND REGULATION, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A RELIABLE INDICATOR OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.

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