Pensions Advice FAQ

Pensions FAQ

What do I do if I have a compliant?

Please contact us in the first instance if for any reason you feel dissatisfied with any aspect of our service. We will do everything we can to address your complaint and attempt to put things right as quickly as possible. Click here for our full complaints procedure »

When should I review my pension?

Generally, we think reviewing your pension once a year is a good start to make sure everything is on track. Keeping tabs on your pension can be key if you wish to maximise your chance of a comfortable retirement – and it might be easier than you think.

What happens in a pension review?

A Pension Review starts with an initial meeting where we would get to know you and understand more about your circumstances, what pensions you have and get you to think about what your ideal retirement looks like and the income you think you may need.

Why should I review my pension?

An annual pension review lets you keep up with your fund’s performance and any new or forthcoming legislation that could affect your retirement income. It also gives you peace of mind, since any issues can be quickly rectified before they could potentially affect your savings and investments. Most importantly, regular pension reviews can help you to achieve financial security in later life.

Why do we offer a free consultation?

There are a few reasons why we offer a free consultation. Firstly, we would like to give you a no-obligation opportunity to get sound advice on what gains are available to you when reviewing your pension. We make it clear here so you will not be under the impression that we charge for every piece of advice typically requested from financial institutions.

Secondly, the free consultation helps you better understand what options are available without committing yourself.

Thirdly, you can make an educated decision on what pension scheme is best for you.

How much can you gain from switching your pension?

Individual benefits depend greatly on your current pension plan and the new scheme you eventually decide to change to. Take advantage of our free consultation and get all your questions answered – use our form and we will contact you directly.

Where can I get pension advice?

You can get free information and advice about your State Pension or your company, personal, stakeholder or occupational pension from Pensionwise or The Pensions Advisery Service (TPAS)

Where can I go if I have a dispute with my private pension provider?

The Pensions Advisery Service (TPAS) provides general guidance about pensions and can help if you have got a problem or have a dispute with your occupational or private pension arrangement. Any complaints should in the first instance be directed to the provider or your financial adviser for Personal Pensions or the Scheme Trustees for Occupational Pensions but TPAS can also assist in this area in problems persist.

Why is the State Pension often under review?

The State Pension seems to often be under review. A State Pension Review commonly looks at the rules around pensionable age are appropriate, based on the latest life expectancy data and other evidence. Life expectancy in the UK has been falling, which has led to some to call for a rethink in planned state pension age increases.

How many years NI contributions do I need for a full pension?

In order to receive a full State Penson, you will need 35 qualifying years. Some pensions will normally be payable if you have 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record.

How much is full State Pension currently

The full State Pension is currently £203.85 per week (2023/2024 tax year). If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you’ll get a different amount under the basic State Pension rules.

At what age can I access my full State Pension?

State Pension access ages are increasing and are likely to continue to do so, they are being aligned for men and women. The State Pension Age is currently 66. Under existing legislation, it will increase to 67 by April 2028 and 68 by April 2046.

Why am I not getting the full State Pension?

Even if your State Pension forecast shows you as having paid 35 years of National Insurance Contributions, you might not get a full State Pension if you or your firm "contracted" out.

There was a big change to the State Pension system in 2016 which resulted in the government trying to make things simpler going forward but with lots of complications with the old rules.

How often is the age for The State Pension reviewed?

The Pensions Act 2014 set a statutory requirement to review the rules about pensionable age every 6 years, to help to ensure the costs of increasing longevity are shared fairly between the generations, and to provide greater clarity around how State Pension age will change in the future.

Is a drawdown pension a good idea?

Drawing down from your pension pot can be a very good idea. However, it is not something to be entered into lightly or without seeking and understanding the implications. You must discuss your options with a pension adviser in order to make sure it is the best fit for your personal circumstances.

How much can you drawdown from your pension?

Under normal circumstances you can choose to take up to 25% (a quarter) of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum. If you have one of the older policies, you may be able to take out more than 25% as tax-free cash, but you will have to check with your pension provider or seek Independent Financial advice. There are no longer any restrictions on the amount of income which can be withdrawn, but withdrawing income too quickly increases the risk of the pension plan being exhausted before death and carries some significant income tax complications.

How do I cash in my pension?

You can take your whole pension pot as cash if you want, withdrawing it all as cash. You will get the first 25% (quarter) tax-free, the remaining 75% being added to your income and will therefore be taxed in the normal way. However, the default position is that income tax will be deducted at the 45% maximum rate applicable, with any tax overpaid reclaimed from HMRC. You must discuss your options with a pension adviser in order to make sure it is the best fit for your personal circumstances.

Can I stop paying NI after 35 years?

If you want to receive the full State Pension, you will need to have 35 years of contributions (NICs). However, even if you have paid 35 years of National Insurance contributions, if you are still working and earning above the National Insurance threshold you will still have to pay NI.

Can I take some of my pension at 55?

One of the most recent changes is that you can now start taking money from your pension pot at the age of 55, which is well before you can receive your State Pension. Although the government has confirmed plans to increase the minimum pension age from 55 to 57 from 2028.

Does a private pension affect my State Pension?

The payments you receive from your State Pension is based solely on your National Insurance contribution history. This is separate from any monies you receive from one of your private or occupational pensions. However, you should be aware that any money in or taken from your pension pot may affect your entitlement to some state benefits.

How much should I pay into my pension?

As there are so many variables involved it is not possible to answer this question in this format. You must discuss your, circumstances, aspirations and finally your options with a Independent Financial Adviser in order to make sure it contribution levels are properly set and expectations agreed.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation advice.

Pensions are a long-term investment. You may get back less than you put in. Pensions can be and are subject to tax and regulatory change; therefore, the tax treatment of pension benefits can and may change in the future.

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate tax planning.