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Retiring now or planning to within the year

Guidance and Advice

By now you should have been in contact with Pension Wise – an impartial guidance service on how to make the most of the new pensions freedoms. An important part in helping you decide what might be suitable for your retirement.

Before making your final decision, it is recommended that you seek independent financial advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can find one in your area by going to https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/finding-adviser.

We understand advice fees may put people off taking advice about important and serious matters like their retirement. In addition to reducing the risk of financial problems later in life, advice can mean you pay less tax overall and achieve better outcomes. Pension and investment advice from regulated firms also gives you greater consumer protection than if you act without advice.

Ready to Retire

Now that you are ready to retire it's time to start thinking about your retirement in more detail - the size of pension fund you have accumulated, which retirement options are available for you to use and gaining a clearer view of your pension(s) and other investments and savings.

Reviewing your financial plans at this point in your retirement journey is important to let you see exactly where you stand and what your options are. It's important to make the right decisions for your future - and now is the time to adjust your plans so they fit your needs, increase your level of security or boost your income.

Before you get started a personalised Retirement Options Report may help you understand what benefits may be available to you. You can generate this report here.

There are several big decisions you need to make in the run-up to your retirement. You may even decide you don't want to retire at all - and will keep working for longer. Remember that the longer you pay into your pension, the more you may be able to save and the bigger your pension fund could be. You also need to consider investment performance, which can go down as well as up.

What should you do now? Use this checklist to help you organise your planning:

Create an up-to-date budget about how much money you might need in retirement. Check on all benefits you might be entitled to – such as the winter fuel allowance, a free TV licence, pension credit or disability entitlements.  ✓ 
Gather together all your pension information and statements. Ask your pension providers for up-to-date statements and check if you have any pensions you weren’t aware of through the Pensions Tracing Service at www.gov.uk.  ✓ 
Request a State pension statement at www.gov.uk and plug missing gaps in your state pension, so you’re entitled to the full basic State Pension. You can view this information in your personal tax account at gov.uk  ✓ 
Assess the total value of your retirement savings, and your outgoings.  ✓ 
If you haven’t already, visit Pension Wise at www.pensionwise.gov.uk  ✓ 
If you haven’t already, decide on whether you need to take full advice or use an at-retirement digital advice service*  ✓ 
Decide which retirement options you wish to take. You can usually take up to 25% of your total pension fund as a tax-free lump sum. Look at enhanced annuities if you have any health issues or certain medical or lifestyle conditions. Check out the retirement options page to understand more.  ✓ 
Sort out your paperwork – Ensure your investments suit your appetite for risk at this point in time.  ✓ 
Consider consolidating your pensions to make it easier to manage your retirement savings. Before consolidating, check you’re not forfeiting any benefits or incurring any charges.  ✓ 
The Government’s Pension Service will also contact you with details of how to claim your state pension. This usually happens around four months before you reach state pension age. Make sure you won't pay too much tax in retirement by completing a Pension Coding Form. HM Revenue & Customs will automatically send this to you one month before you reach state pension age but if you're self-employed you need to request a form or download it from www.hmrc.gov.uk  ✓ 
Be prepared - Write a will or review any existing you will have in place.  ✓ 
Check what will happen to your pension if you die.  ✓ 
Assess the value of your estate for inheritance tax purposes and consider ways to reduce your liability.  ✓ 

*eligibility criteria applies

Useful links

Here are some links to external websites that we think might be useful to you when planning for retirement.

(Aon does not take responsibility for these external web site links or their content)

Inheritance Tax Planning

Pension Tracing Service

Benefits and allowances

Part-time work

Pension flexibilities and DWP benefits

Ready to get started?

Ready to Go?

Click here if you’re ready to explore your options and an illustration.