• Pensions

    Your top five pension questions answered: Pension Wise reveals what people ask the most at its free appointments for over-50s

    The Government's free Pension Wise service was set up to help older people plan their retirement finances following the pension freedom reforms in 2015.It previously explained how sessions work and how to prepare in advance to get the maximum benefit from an appointment here. The pension freedom shake-up gave over-55s full access to and control over their pension pots to spend, save or invest them as they wish in old age.Here, Pension Wise explains the big questions these options throw up for savers and how it will help to answer them for each individual. Pension freedom: Reforms gave over-55s full access to ...

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  • Pensions

    Where do pension millionaires invest? Wealthy savers' ten favourite shares and funds revealed - plus tips on how to boost your own pot

    What's the secret to becoming a pension millionaire? Well, it turns out they are not the adventurous risk-takers you might imagine.New research probing the investment choices of people with £1million-plus pension pots found they favour quality actively-managed funds and blue-chip stocks.They are more likely than less well-off investors to hold individual shares, but they still prefer large and well-established UK businesses.And when it comes to funds they tend to like proven names and income generators, according to analysis of the 1,500 account-holders at broker Hargreaves Lansdown who have managed to accumulate private pension holdings exceeding the £1million mark. TOP 10 ...

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  • Pensions

    Why won't I get a full state pension even though I paid National Insurance for 38 years? Steve Webb replies

    I am enquiring about my state pension which I will get in January 2021.According to my pension forecast, I have 38 qualifying years, but I will only get £139 instead of the full £164 a week.I was in my company pension for about 30 years. Should I not get the full amount since I have 38 qualifying years to my credit? State pension: How many years do you have to pay in to qualify for the full payout, and how does 'contracting out' affect the sums?Please explain how it works? I always thought you needed 30 years of National Insurance ...

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  • Pensions

    A third of retirees who are choosing to keep their savings invested don't have any experience of the stock market

    One in three retirees who have chosen to keep their savings invested instead of buying an annuity are first-time investors, new research shows.Income drawdown has become a highly popular way of funding retirement since pension freedoms were introduced three years ago, and is now more common than buying an annuity that provides a guaranteed income for life.However, 32 per cent of retirees who have chosen this option have no investment experience, according to a survey of 742 people carried out by YouGov for Zurich UK. Pension pot options: One in three retirees who have chosen drawdown are first-time investorsThe study ...

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  • Pensions

    Men receive a whopping £29,000 more than women in retirement over 20 years, says Which? report

    Men get almost £29,000 more than women during a typical 20-year retirement, new research has revealed.The Which? study of almost 12.9million people receiving the state pension found that the average man receives £153.86 per week compared to their female counterpart who pockets only £125.98.Out of the total pensioners looked at, 546,000 get state pension under the new system launched in April 2016, while the other 12.3million get payouts that started under the previous regime, based on Department for Work and Pensions figures. Wide gulf: Men get almost £29,000 more than women during a typical 20-year retirement, new research has revealedThe ...

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  • Pensions

    Will workers stand for a tripling in pension deductions from wage packets, or rebel against auto-enrolment increases?

    Millions of workers auto-enrolled into pensions will see deductions from wages triple in April, squeezing their spending power and testing the commitment to saving for old age.Only a relatively modest 0.8 per of pay packets is being diverted into people's pensions to date, but this will jump to 2.4 per cent next month, followed by a further steep increase to 4 per cent the following year.It will be a huge test for this so far successful experiment into 'nudging' workers to provide for their own retirement. Such a dramatic hit to their monthly income could well overcome people's natural inertia ...

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  • Pensions

    Can I spend one pension pot after I turn 60 and then another one later? Steve Webb replies

    I have two pensions. One starts at the age of 60 and the other at the age of 65.My thinking is this. Can I ‘draw’ from the first one for 10 years such that there will be nothing left?Five years into this the second one will kick in, and seven years into the first (two years into the second) the state pension will kick in. Is this possible? Pension dilemma: What's the best way to juggle retirement pots which start paying out at different ages?Steve Webb replies: The short answer to your question is that it depends what sort of pension ...

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  • Pensions

    I want to stash some extra cash in my pension before the end of the tax year - what's the best way to do it?

    Deadline looming: What's the best way to top up your pension before the end of the tax yearI want to top up my pension to get the most out of this year's £40,000 annual allowance for tax relief.I’ve paid very little into a pension through my working life but built up a big pot of cash savings.There's not much time left before April 6, so what should I do and are there any pitfalls I should avoid?Ian Browne, a pensions expert at Old Mutual Wealth, replies:  Tax year end is fast approaching, but there is still time to make the ...

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  • Pensions

    What's an 'acceptable' pension pot to retire on? Can I use some of it now to buy a house? Steve Webb replies

    Housing ladder: Can you use your pension savings to buy a home?I realise this is a very broad question, and one which will depend on a number of factors, but I wonder if you have a view on what would constitute an acceptable pension fund heading into retirement.I'm 45 this year, and don't own a house (my ex-wife has it), but I have a fair sized amount saved in a few different pension plans.I'm trying to decide whether to reduce pension contributions and put money into getting on the housing ladder instead.Also, is there a way to use my ...

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  • Pensions

    Pension firms must start pushing rivals' best annuity deals from today, just as rates finally start creeping up

    Pension firms must give annuity buyers the top rival quote on the market to help them avoid shoddy deals under new rules starting today.Savers will have to be told the difference between a provider's own offer and the best available one - in pounds and pence annual income - from a comparison tool covering every firm in the market. Annuities allow savers to exchange pension pots for a guaranteed income in retirement, but poor value deals and evidence of mis-selling uncovered by regulators have given them a bad name. Annuity deals: Rates are low after years of rock bottom interest rates, rising ...

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  • Pensions

    Do I have any rights to pension money from a job I held for three months in 1984? Steve Webb replies

    I have come across old pay slips for a job I had in 1984. This employment was for a short duration of just three months but my then employer deducted a princely sum of £45.30 in total and as far as I can recall, they never refunded it.The government’s pension tracing service enabled me to find out the name of the company which administered the scheme, but as the amount involved is so small, I am not sure what to ask for, what department to ask for or indeed whether it is even worth pursuing?Do I have any rights to this ...

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  • Pensions

    Top pension tips for married couples: How to make sure you get all the benefits you're entitled to - and make the most of your retirement pot

    It may not seem like a grand romantic gesture, but making sure your spouse is financially comfortable in retirement, will go a long way towards securing your future happiness together.The pension pay gap remains significant with 33 per cent of men expected to retire with just the state pension compared to 53 per cent of women, meaning many wives are reliant on their husbands for a financial top up. On average UK men have £73,600 saved in a pension pot and women have just £24,900.So with Valentine's Day upon us there is no better time for married couples to review ...

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  • Pensions

    One in five workers retires with £34K of debts as many dig deep for their offspring's house deposits and uni fees

    One in five people retiring this year will be weighed down by debts worth an average £33,900, new research reveals.That's a 40 per cent higher debt pile than last year - although the annual figure tends to be volatile, after soaring to £38,200 in 2012 but falling to £18,800 in 2016.Grandparents are racking up debt trying to help children with house deposits and grandchildren with university fees, according to Prudential which has surveyed retirees about their borrowings since 2011. Retiring in debt: Some 38 per cent of this year's retirees who are in debt are still paying off mortgagesIt's also possible ...

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  • Pensions

    Am I entitled to a £200 a week state pension after paying National Insurance for 51 years? Steve Webb replies

    I have paid full National Insurance for coming up to 48 years, and when I retire at 66 I will have paid for 51 years. (I'm a woman born in the 1950s who has been robbed of her state pension at the age of 60.)I note that in previous articles about the old and new state pensions, you say that the final pension you get will be based on the *higher* of two amounts calculated under the two systems.So for example, someone who had 44 years of contributions and might have got a state pension under the old rules of ...

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  • Pensions

    Will annuity rates recover in 2018? After years of decline a 'good Brexit' could boost pensioners' income, says industry expert

    Incomes from annuities have been in the doldrums for the last 10 years and are still at historically low levels, writes pensions expert Billy Burrows of financial adviser Better Retirement.However, there are signs that rates could finally start to increase in 2018 and their popularity grow once again.Annuities used to be incredibly popular. After all if you don’t have a final salary pension, they are the only retirement products that guarantee an income for life, with no risk of running out of money.  Retirement decision: Savers have shunned annuities in recent years in favour of staying invested and drawing down ...

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