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Preparing for retirement

5 minute read

In this guide

  • How Pension Buddy helps you picture and prepare for retirement
  • Other sources of support
  • Seeking financial advice

Preparing for retirement can seem a daunting prospect, but there’s help available.

Pension Buddy

  • Pension Buddy Plan
    Our Pension Buddy Plan asks you a few simple questions. We’ll then prepare a personal plan that directs you to relevant information.

  • Retirement Health Check
    Our Retirement Health Check asks you for details of how much you’ve already saved, then estimates how much your ongoing contributions and future savings could be worth when you retire. The calculation includes the State Pension. The result is compared with how much you think you’ll need to live comfortably in retirement. If there’s a shortfall, we’ll show you how to get back on track.

  • Retirement Savvy Quiz
    The Retirement Savvy Quiz delivers a personalised checklist to help you get in shape for retirement. For example, do you have a full National Insurance contribution record for the State Pension? If not, do you know you can buy added years? Have you traced past pensions? Again, if not, do you know how to do this? Your checklist will show you what to do and how to do it.

  • Wellbeing
    It’s not all about money. Wellbeing is about getting the most out of retirement. There are articles on a range of lifestyle issues, from managing relationships to keeping physically fit and mentally agile.

Other sources of support

  • MoneyHelper
    This is a free, independent service provided by the Money and Pensions Service - sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. Its purpose is to help people make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. The site provides a wide range of support including a number of tools and calculators aimed specifically at people approaching retirement. It also includes the Pension Wise service (see below).

  • Pension Wise
    You can ask for a free appointment from age 50. Otherwise you’ll be offered an appointment when you apply to convert your pension savings into an income. It’s an independent service provided by MoneyHelper to explain your retirement options. Pension Wise is a valuable service, but it’s designed to provide guidance not advice. That means it will explain your options at retirement, but it won’t recommend a course of action. This may be enough for you to make informed decisions. If not, you might want to consider taking regulated financial advice.

  • Your employer
    More and more employers are introducing initiatives to help their employees enjoy a comfortable retirement. Some employers will offer regulated advice through a third party, paid in full or in part by the company or using government incentives. Other employers will establish retirement workshops and seminars to help you make the right decisions or produce information explaining your choices at retirement.

Seeking financial advice

Some of the choices you make about your retirement finances can’t be changed, so it’s important to get it right. If you decide to take regulated financial advice, you’ll be asked questions about your finances, how you feel about taking investment risk in retirement, and also your plans for life after work. Your adviser will review your options and make a personal recommendation based on an assessment of what’s right for you.

Always make sure the adviser and the firm they work for are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). That means they must meet minimum standards and hold certain qualifications. They’re also liable for the advice they give, so if it’s wrong you can seek compensation. Firms offering advice on retirement income solutions will charge you a fee for their services (though this can usually be taken directly from the pension fund).

For details of financial advisers near you, visit unbiased.co.uk

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