Are Pensions too complicated?

Fail to plan; Plan to Fail

Well Andrew Haldane seems to think so!

My usual morning scan of my generic news app led me to an interesting article this morning. The Bank of England's Andrew Haldane says he cannot make "the remotest sense of pensions" and many experts "have no clue either" read the story. The Bank of England's chief economist, says the complex nature of retirement funds is harming Britons' efforts to save enough for their old age, it continued.

Whilst headlines are meant to shock and prompt us to read on, the thing that alarmed me most about the article was the point that Andrew feels the complex nature of pensions is harming our efforts to save. Having worked in Financial Services for over 16 years I come across clients every day who share with me their lack of understanding on pensions and it’s my job to educate them, a part of the job I enjoy. But if a Bank of England Chief Economist is having trouble, what hope is there for the rest of us?

So it’s time to go back to basics! If you put some money into a pension now, you will have some money when you come to retire. The more money you put in, the more money you will have. There is tax relief on personal contributions, so for every £1 that goes in, the cost to you is only 80p (or 60p if you pay higher rate tax). When you come to retire, you can have 25% of the value of your fund tax free, the rest is taxable.

Now, there is a lot that goes on between, but that’s what we’re here to help with. Pensions needn’t be too confusing. Get good, independent financial advice and make sure you are putting the pieces in place for the retirement you want.

*Investing into a pension is a long term commitment. The value of the pension can go down or up and you may not receive back what you originally invested.

Malcolm Wallace

Here's a little more information about our team.

Q: Qualifications Include

A: After my French degree, I moved into financial planning.  Here is my list:

B/A French

R03 - Personal Taxation (CII)
R04 - Pensions and Retirement Planning (CII)
R05 - Financial Protection (CII)
R02 - Investment Principles (CII)
R01 - Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics (CII)
R06 - Financial Planning Practice (CII)
Dip PFS - Personal Finance Society Diploma (PFS)
CeLM - Certificate in Lifetime Mortgages (IFS)
CeMAP - Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (IFS)
CeRCC - Certificate in Regulated Customer Care (IFS)
CeRER - Certificate in Regulated Equity Release (IFS)
CF2 - Investment and Risk (CII)

Q: Do your clients have anything in common with each other?

A: I work a lot with people who are building wealth as their career progresses, particularly GPs and other people with NHS connections.

I'm very familiar with the NHS pension scheme and benefits, so it is easy for me to give advice that fits in well with your benefits. That helps when I advise you about moving home or saving for the future around your NHS pension.

Our office is in Altrincham, and I live in Liverpool. Also, I work in Oxfordshire approximately one day per week. Any of those locations are convenient for me.

Q: What type of work do you enjoy most?

A: At retirement work gives me the most satisfaction because the clients realise that it is an important time to take professional advice and show genuine gratitude for the work that we do.

Q: Where would you be right now if you weren't at work?

A: Outside somewhere, enjoying the fresh air

Q: In the film of your life, who would play you?

A: Ben Affleck

Q: Curry or Hot Pot?

A: Curry

Q: Sherbert or Chocolate?

A: Chocolate

Q: Lawn or Flowers?

A: Lawn

Q: What are you most likely to do whilst being 'on hold'?

A: Check emails