Pensions you've yet to take
What to do with pensions you’ve yet to take.
As you start retirement, you may still have pensions to take. You could have decided to delay taking some of them for a variety of reasons. For example, you may already have sufficient income from other sources or you may want to continue to save.
Alternatively there may be other reasons why you’re unable to take your pension. For example your pension might have a fixed retirement date that can’t be changed or would have incurred penalties for taking your benefits early.
You should continue to review any pensions that you still have, to make sure they are still meeting your needs.
Of course, you could choose to take the money using the options available to you.
Review your investment funds
When you started saving using a personal pension, the type of investment(s) chosen may have been focused on growth for your future retirement. Now that you are closer to retirement, you may wish to review where your money is invested so it continues to match your current attitude to investment risk. For example you may want to move into lower risk investments. Although this reduces the growth potential of your plan, it should help to protect its value.
As part of your review you should also look to consider the performance and charges of your investments.
Ask your pension provider for information on the current range of investment options available.
Nominating a beneficiary
Please let us know who you would want to leave your pension to in the event of your death. It’s easy to do this by completing a nomination form. While your nomination is not binding, it will be taken into account when paying death benefits. It’s therefore really important to keep this information up to date as your wishes and circumstances might change.
Contact your pension provider and ask about completing or updating your nomination or expression of wish.
Reaching age 75
It’s important that you work out what you want to do with your pension before your 75th birthday. Different providers have different rules. You may find that some older rules may still apply to certain pensions meaning that the pension had to be used to buy an annuity at age 75.
Some providers have updated their older contracts to provide greater flexibility but all providers are required to contact you prior to your 75th birthday to confirm the options available to you on any pensions you’ve still to take.
If you don’t provide your instruction by your 75th birthday your pension will be used to buy an annuity automatically. This will give you a regular and guaranteed income for life but you will lose the opportunity to take tax-free cash or an alternative option that may better suit your needs. By missing out on the opportunity to shop around you might also end up with a lower income than might have been available elsewhere.
However, if you plan to leave your pension until after age 75 you should contact your pension provider to ask what options are available.