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Pension Reviews – Cheaper Charges and Appropriate Investments or Access to your Pension?

Simply Retirement specialise in retirement planning and pensions. We hold the appropriate qualifications and experience required to provide financial advice on Pensions.

Simply Retirement does not provide advice about transferring from Defined Benefit Schemes, Safeguarded Rights or Final Salary Pensions. It was decided that the liability and cost to provide this service was too great for our business. We will review and deal with Money Purchase or Personal Pensions plans you have.

  • Access your Pension Fund from the age of 55, and take a 25% tax free lump sum!
  • Ensure your pension is working hard for you and is invested in the right areas.
  • Review your Pension Charges to find a cost effective solution.

Our Process:

Simply Retirement will:

  1. Obtain a ‘Letter of Authority’ to gather information only about your existing benefits.
  2. Complete an analysis of your existing pension scheme.
  3. Provide you with a ‘Summary of Facts’ to explain your benefits to you.

The above is completed ‘at our own cost’ without any obligation to you. Once we have placed you in an ‘informed position’ we believe you can decide if you want to engage our ‘advice’ service further and we can be specific about the costs.


Taking some benefits (25% Tax Free Cash) Flexi-Access Drawdown

In April 2015 Legislation was introduced to provide greater flexibility over how pension benefits are taken and you can pass on any unspent pension to your loved ones when you die.

Flexi-Access Drawdown provides the following features:

  • ·         Allows you to access your benefits from age 55
  • ·         You can take 25% of your fund as a tax free payment.
  • ·         The remaining 75% of your fund can be invested, and used to provide income.
  • ·         You do not have to take any additional ‘taxable’ income.
  • ·         You can take income from your fund, until it is depleted.
  • ·         In the event of your death before 75, your beneficiaries (anyone you choose) can:
    • ·         use the fund left and buy an annuity, tax free
    • ·         use the fund and draw income from it, tax free
    • ·         be paid the fund as a lump sum, tax free

On your death after the age of 75, your beneficiaries will be taxed when they take the benefits based on their tax situation when they make withdrawals.

Why might a transfer (or Pension Switch) be suitable?

When we use the term transfer in this context we are referring to what is known as a pension switch.
Sometimes a pension switch or transfer may be suitable to allow:

  • Access to benefits from age 55, ensuring you have full access to the flexibility granted by legislation
  • Providing cheaper more cost effective charges
  • Providing a Lump Sum without having to take the pension income until later
  • Providing greater death benefits for the people you choose

There are many older types of pension policy that do not permit you to access your benefits with the full flexibility available under the current legislation. In addition, Some of the older plans have not been updated to provide the full flexibility available for a beneficiary in the event of your death. Therefore, these benefits can be obtained by transferring to a more current pension plan. There has also been increasing pressure to reduce the charges of ‘newer’ pension plans and we may be able to save you money by reducing your pension plan charges. Whilst performance cannot be guaranteed, we can control the costs taken from your plan. Finally, the ‘investment’ is the engine which drives your pension plan. It is important to ensure that your funds are invested in a competent portfolio that meets with your attitude to risk and objectives. Simply Retirement has a very strong investment process, providing investors with reassurance and the confidence that the funds used have been screened and filtered.


Final Salary Scheme / Defined Benefit – This is a ‘promise’ of a pension in the future from an employer. You will typically receive an annual pension (or a lump sum and reduced pension) at your Normal Retirement Date which is based on your years of service and your salary. You do not carry any of the investment risk and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient money to meet the promises that have been made. However, they may provide a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value as an alternative to release them from their liability. This is the amount you would transfer. Simply Retirement do not provide advice about transferring these scheme and The Financial Conducts Authority starting position for considering a transfer is ‘not to transfer’.

Money Purchase Arrangement – This is a pot of money that is ring-fenced to provide you with a benefit at retirement. The fund is invested and can go up and down. It is the value of the fund at retirement that will provide for your benefits. There are several options for withdrawing this money when you reach retirement which can include a Pension Commencement Lump Sum (Tax Free Cash), Flexi-Access Drawdown, Annuities, Uncrystallised Pension Fund Lump Sum (UPFLS).

    Pension Drawdown

    Complete this form to get a personalised pension drawdown quote


    Why take Drawdown advice?

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) produced a report called the Retirement Outcomes Review (MS16/1.3) in June 2018 which commented on how benefits were being taken since the Pension Freedom and Choice legislation was introduced in April 2015.

    Final Salary Pension Schemes

    This will effect you if you have a deferred Final Salary Pension plan or Defined Benefit Pension. If you are a deferred member, i.e., you have left your employer but the pension is not due for payment until your normal retirement date (65?), your right to a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) may be affected.

    Budget 2014 – The key changes for annuities

    Using a Fixed Term Annuity or Drawdown will allow you to access 25% of your fund as a tax free lump sum and leaves the remainder of your benefits to be accessed under the further changes proposed from 2015. Therefore, in the interim, this leaves the door open for your options.