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Pension Planning - Thinking of the Future

June 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 207

If you're lucky enough, you'll have an employer that provides a secure and generous pension to help your golden years shine that little bit more. Otherwise, saving for retirement is going to be all down to you - this can feel pretty daunting and even overwhelming to some. Where do you even start? It's going to come down to your requirements. Things are different for everyone, and pensions are no exception. You'll need to think about a couple of things before you set up; importantly, how much you will need - then, decide how you're going to get to your goal.

Pensions & investment can be a scary task to tackle alone and advice on pensions seems to vary depending on who you ask. Some people turn to a professional for help, like an independent financial adviser. Whether you are just starting to think about your retirement and savings or you are on the cusp of retirement, an IFA (independent financial adviser) could give you valuable insight into how you can maximise your personal pension.

A personal pension is a long term investment. The aim is to help produce a large sum of money that you can use to purchase a retirement income with. An investment like this holds tax benefits - HM Revenue and Customs adds tax relief to payments you make into the pension plan. The amount of tax relief paid depends on the rate of tax that you pay and your tax code. A personal pension is a good option for those who are self employed or whose employer doesn't provide a company pension. If you're on a moderate income and want to boost your retirement fund with a private pension, it's a solid idea too. If you work somewhere that offers a pension scheme or stakeholder pensions, a personal pension might not be the best option for you.

As of April 2010, the earliest age you can take your personal pension is 55. You don't necessarily have to retire from work to get your pension - and now you have the option to defer your pension beyond the age of 75, which was previously the maximum.

If your earnings are moderate, you may want to consider a stakeholder pension. Stakeholder pensions are more flexible and have to meet certain criteria and standards to ensure flexibility. There are management charges, but these are limited and minimum payments are low. You can stop and start payments as you see fit. They work just as any other scheme only a manager will invest the stakeholder's funds on your behalf. The value of your fund will be based on your contributions and the performance of the investments.

For more information on pensions and investments or advice on them, Choice Financial Solutions offer a diverse range of financial services and could provide your first positive step in the right direction.

Philip Loughran is a freelance author who writes about a variety of subjects. For pension advice and pension planning he recommends Choice Financial Solutions.

Source: EzineArticles
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