Brewin has developed a calculator which will allow you to put in any level of pension pot and work out how long it is likely to last in drawdown using various levels of risk.
Britain is facing the biggest changes to its pension system in over 100 years, giving millions of people full control of their retirement savings. But is the country ready for it? Our survey and analysis suggests that, not only are they woefully unprepared, but that the taxman could be the biggest beneficiary of a system that hands people responsibility without appropriate training.
Sensible use of an ISA, investing in a tax-efficient manner and withdrawing a pension in stages could provide as much as five years’ worth of additional cash in retirement, Brewin reveals. The state of under-preparedness is such, however, that many could simply throw this extra money away.
Our calculator, available at http://pensionfreedoms.brewin.co.uk will allow you to work out just how long a pension pot could last compared to life expectancy, depending on whether a retiree chooses to take it as cash or puts it into a low, medium or high risk portfolio.
The case studies show the value of sensible tax planning and the stark differences unprepared retirees could face – either ending up living over 15 years on the basic state pension, when they could have had a far more comfortable retirement.
Our findings come from an exclusive national survey* of over 2,000 adults approaching retirement, which shows that today’s retirees are in a precarious position as we accelerate towards the biggest pensions revolution in decades. Most people are unaware of how long they are likely to live and the importance of tax planning, whilst many are planning to keep their pension in cash and will need some of it to pay debts.
Key Findings from the South of England:
Over half is planning to retire without advice on what to do with their pension, whilst someone with an average (according to Brewin Dolphin’s survey) £163,000 pension pot is likely to run out of money within five years without advice, and could end up paying an unnecessary £50,000 to HMRC.
“It’s a bleak picture,” said Tim Walker, Head of Brewin Dolphin in Exeter. “We’re all familiar with Steve Webb’s comment that people can spend their pension on a Lamborghini – but our research suggests that most people will be putting unnecessary money into the hands of the taxman, rather than spending it on anything fun. With proper help, Britain’s retirees could enjoy their final years, and really benefit from new pension freedoms, but the survey suggests many will drive off into the sunset without proper financial advice. You wouldn’t attempt to drive a supercar without taking a driving lesson first – so why do the same with your retirement?”
Staggeringly, 50% of 55-65 year olds in the South of England have said they would be unlikely to seek any financial advice on whether to withdraw a lump sum from their pension. “As a leading wealth manager, we’re seriously concerned that many people’s retirement will be crashed if they don’t get the help they need,” warns Tim Walker. “The survey we’ve undertaken reveals that, despite having significant pension pots in many cases, most won’t take advice and many are planning to simply withdraw their money into a poorly paying savings account that will leave them with an eye watering tax bill and no inflation protection.”
What lessons can be taken away from this? Those who spend time understanding their options and the tax implications of the changes will end up far better off than those who are simply seduced by the excitement of an initial cash pile
Brewin Dolphin’s unique calculator, will allow you to put in any level of pension pot and work out how long it is likely to last in drawdown using various levels of risk, and will show you how long the money will last in cash. The message is clear – in finance, as in motoring, a few driving lessons can make a huge difference.
Brewin Dolphin commissioned survey* asked 2,000 people aged between 55- 65 years old. Below is a summary of the findings in the South of England.
Age of use
Required retirement income
Other sources of retirement income
Intended use for pension pot
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