Tag Archives: pensions


Prudential Reveals Almost Half Of UK Business Owners Have No Pension Savings

Almost half (46 per cent) of UK business owners* – or 1.3 million** people – have no private pension savings to support them in retirement, according to new independent research from Prudential***.

Of those who have failed to make any private pension provision, more than half (54 per cent) said this was because they simply could not afford to set money aside. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) say they don’t have a pension because they will never retire, and 9 per cent claim they have sufficient funds in a company pension from previous employment.

Nearly one third (29 per cent) of business owners, or 792,000 people, say they will be entirely reliant on the State Pension when they come to retire, compared with just 16 per cent of people across all employment types retiring this year in the UK****.

Other self-employed workers will supplement their retirement incomes with money from a mix of alternative sources: 48 per cent will draw on other savings and investments, 25 per cent will use equity from their properties, 25 per cent plan to use their partners’ pensions, and 19 per cent
plan to use funds from the eventual sale of their businesses.

Prudential asked those business owners who don’t have a personal pension whether they plan to start one in the future and the majority of respondents (63 per cent) said no. Only 13 per cent said they were planning to start a pension and just under a quarter (24 per cent) were undecided.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “It’s sometimes hard for self-employed workers to distinguish between their business and personal finances. Often, investing in the business takes priority over saving for retirement – an issue that is particularly prevalent now, given the tough economic conditions facing UK businesses.

“Unfortunately, the long-term implications of not saving for retirement are that many retirees will have a real income shock and reduced living standards when they finally retire. And while a number of business owners say they don’t need a pension because they’ll never stop working, this optimistic approach won’t always be realistic – for example because of health issues later in life.

“Although some business owners plan to supplement their retirement incomes with alternative sources of finances, a large proportion will be entirely reliant upon the State Pension – which should actually be a safety net, not a default source of income.”

Saving into a pension has become a lower priority for those business owners who do have some dedicated retirement savings. The survey found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of entrepreneurs with pension savings had put their personal contributions on hold since the start of the economic downturn.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Fears Over New Generation Of Lost Pensions

One in six (16 per cent) workers have lost track of their pension funds after changing jobs, according to research from Prudential, raising new fears over a generation of lost pensions.

To compound matters, the survey of employees found that three in four (76 per cent) people have no idea of the value of the company pension pots they have built up over their careers. Just 24 per cent are confident that they know the value of their combined pension funds.

More than four in five (81 per cent) workers failed to actively transfer their previous company pension funds across to their new employers, while another 15 per cent relied on their new employers to make the switch.

Keeping track of pension funds is a significant risk for younger workers, in particular, as they change jobs more frequently than older employees. According to Prudential’s survey, workers aged between 18 and 34 have had, on average, three full-time jobs, compared with those aged 55 and over who have had just five jobs in their careers.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Saving into a pension today is an important step in the right direction for workers, to help ensure a comfortable retirement.

“It is essential for people to understand what type and level of savings they have built up in the past. They must make sure that their previous employers have their most up-to-date personal details and are sending them annual pension statements, so they can keep themselves properly informed.

“Keeping track of pension savings at every age is important but it is even more crucial for younger workers, who are likely to switch jobs more often, to actively manage this process. It’s also important to consider the benefits of transferring previous pension savings into a new employer’s scheme, although seeking advice before making such a big decision is a must. For those who have lost track of their previous company pension pots, the Pensions Tracing Service should be able to help.”

Prudential’s research also found that workers who do know the value of their combined pension pots say they have built up an overall fund worth £110,207, on average, over their working lives. However, there is a significant gender gap here as men believe they have built up pension savings totalling £154,094, whereas women estimate they have saved only £50,512.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Higher Rate Taxpayers Reject £438 Million In Tax Relief

One in four higher rate taxpayers do not contribute to pension schemes despite the attraction of tax relief to help boost their retirement savings, according to independent research from Prudential*. Nationally, this equates to around 216,000 employees missing out on up to £438 million a year in pension tax relief.

The nationwide study of those earning between £42,275 and £149,999 found 21 per cent claiming they cannot afford to contribute to a pension scheme. One in eight (13 per cent) say they do not see the point of saving for retirement, despite the tax benefits ofpensions, while 17 per cent don’t know why they fail to save into a pension scheme.

An average higher rate taxpayer contributing £425 a month into a pension fund receives basic rate tax relief of £85 a month or £1,020 a year, directly into their pension fund. Up to an additional £1,020 a year in higher rate tax relief can be claimed, which could also be used for pension saving.

Figures from HMRC show that around 58 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes, while another 15 per cent are members of either non-contributory or defined benefit schemes.

But despite earning average salaries of £58,541, the rest do not save into pension schemes at all. Around 43 per cent of those who don’t save into a pension scheme claim to have made alternative retirement arrangements, 4 per cent have existing Self-InvestedPersonal Pension schemes and another 2 per cent claim they will not retire.

Matthew Stephens, Prudential’s tax expert, said: “Pension saving offers valuable tax reliefs to all workers and particularly to higher rate taxpayers. Basic rate 20 per cent tax relief is available at source plus up to an extra 20 per cent from HMRC for higher rate taxpayers. Turning down what is effectively free money simply does not make sense.

“It is worrying that so many higher rate taxpayers say they cannot afford to save into a pension despite earning healthy salaries. The good news is that it is never too late to take action on saving for retirement and we urge all workers to seek advice on long-termretirement planning.”

The Prudential research shows that recent changes limiting annual tax-free pension contributions to £50,000 a year have not significantly dented pension saving among higher earners. Just 8 per cent said the change had put them off pension saving while 25 per cent were unaware of the change.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Women Set To Retire On £5750 Less Than Men

New research from Prudential has revealed that women retiring in 2012 expect their annual retirement income to be a third lower than that of their male counterparts, adding up to a gender gap of £5,750.

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study into the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year finds that the average woman expects an annual income of £12,250 from their retirement pension, compared with an average expected income of £18,000 for men.

The study shows that the gender gap has fallen from last year’s £6,500, and has narrowed steadily since Prudential first measured a gap of £6,642 in 2009. The fall this year can be mainly attributed to a reduction in men’s expected incomes. However, the gap remains significant.

Prudential’s study found that the average amount that men and women expect to retire on in 2012 fell to a five-year low of £15,500 including private, company and State pension, compared with £16,600 in 2011.

Stan Russell, Prudential’s retirement income expert, said: “The Pension Gender Gap appears to be narrowing, but there is still a long way to go. Not only does the gap remain stubbornly wide, but anticipated retirement incomes have this year hit a five year low for both men and women.

“The practical steps that women can take to improve their retirement income prospects include maintaining pension contributions during career breaks and, if possible, making voluntary National Insurance contributions after returning to work.

“It is imperative for anyone looking to secure a sufficient income when they retire to begin saving as much as they can, as early as they can, and to do so regularly through life. For those who are still working, it has never been a more important time to save into a pension.”

The Prudential study also found that nearly half (49 per cent) of women believe they will not have enough income for a comfortable retirement, compared with 40 per cent of men.

The retirement gender gap is widest in the South East, where women retiring this year expect to have £7,878 less income a year on average than men – £12,259 compared with £20,137.

The gender gap is narrowest in the North West, with women in the region retiring on an average of £13,087 a year, compared with £15,632 for men – a difference of £2,545.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Two In Five 2012 Retirees Want To Stay In Work

Prudential has revealed that two in five (40 per cent) people planning to retire this year would be happy to work past 65 if they had the chance.

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study, which looks at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year, shows that 48 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women would be happy to continue working past the standard retirement age.

The main motivation for more than two thirds (68 per cent) of this year’s retirees who want to stay in the workforce past 65, is a desire to remain physically healthy and mentally active, while 39 per cent do not like the idea of retiring and just staying at home. More than half (54 per cent) claim that they enjoy working.

However, despite wanting to stay in work, only 13 per would choose to continue to work full-time with their current employer. Nearly half (49 per cent) of those retirees who want to work past 65 years old would prefer to work part-time, either with their current employer or in a new role, in order to strike a better work life balance.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) of entrepreneurial retirees would consider starting their own business after the age of 65 or earn money from a hobby in order to keep working. Five per cent would work as charity volunteers.

Recent ONS figures show that average retirement ages are rising, with men now retiring at an average age of 64.6, compared with 63.8 in 2004, and women working until 62.3 years compared with 61.2 previously.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “There is a new retirement reality taking shape across the UK, with thousands of people actively choosing to work past the traditional retirement age.

“The fact that so many of this year’s retirees would keep working on a part-time basis is a strong indication that, for many, working is as much about staying young at heart as it is about funding retirement.

“Gradual retirement is an increasing trend among pensioners, whether this means remaining in the same job on a flexible basis or even setting up their own business. Those retiring at 65 will face an average of nineteen years in retirement which makes the financial and social benefits of working for longer an even bigger draw for a new generation of industrious retirees.”

Around the country, those planning to retire this year from the East of England were the most keen to stay part of the workforce with 54 per cent saying that they would choose to work past 65 if they had the option. Half (49 per cent) of Londoners and 45 per cent of people in the South East would also like to continue to work.

However, just 29 per cent of Scots planning on retiring this year would be happy to work past 65 if given the choice, along with 30 per cent of retirees in Wales and in Yorkshire and Humberside, and only 21 per cent of those in the North East.

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Prudential Reveals Saving Money Is Top Priority For Thrifty Retirees

Prudential has revealed the results of new research which shows the top priority for people intending to retire this year is saving money to ensure they have enough to live on in retirement. Nearly 6 out of 10 people (57 per cent) said saving will be a top priority.

The insurer’s Class of 2012 study, which looks at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year, also found that women are more likely than men to prioritise saving during retirement. 62 per cent of women will make this a priority compared with 52 per cent of men.

Although saving money is a key focus, those intending to retire this year are still determined to have a fun-filled retirement. More than a third (36 per cent) say that spending money on travelling the world will be a priority for them, while 43 per cent will make spending money on enjoying themselves a priority.

Giving to charity and spending money on fighting the ageing process are low priorities for this year’s retirees. Fewer than 1 in 20 (4 per cent) image-conscious pensioners say that spending money on anti-ageing treatments will be a priority in retirement, while only slightly more will prioritise giving money to charity (5 per cent).

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Today’s retirees are likely to spend longer in retirement than previous generations so it is encouraging to see that they understand the importance of saving money to ensure they can live comfortably. Saving shouldn’t be regarded as something that suddenly stops once you retire, and the current generation of retirees seems to be more aware of this than ever before.

“Saving as much money as possible, from as early an age as possible, is the best way to ensure you can afford a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Consulting a financial adviser can also be an important step in helping retirees to make the most of their pension pots.

“It’s not only about saving though; many retirees in the Class of 2012 are determined to spend money on enjoying themselves and travelling the world, which seems a fair reward for all their hard work during their working lives.”

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Prudential Study Reveals One In Six Will Retire With No Pension

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study has revealed that one in six people (16 per cent) planning to retire this year will depend on the State Pension to fund their retirement as they have no other pension.

The figures come from Prudential’s Class of 2012 research, which provides insights into the financial expectations of Britons planning to retire this year.

Women are more than twice as likely as men to have no pension; 20 per cent of women retiring in 2012 will depend on the State Pension compared with just 8 per cent of men.

The average person planning to retire this year will look to the State for 34 per cent of their income, with State Pension payments set to rise to £107.45 a week for single people from the 6th April 2012. Company pensions (35 per cent) are the second highest source of income and the remaining 30% comes from a mixture of savings, investments, personal pension savings, part time work and money from family members.

The Prudential research also shows that one quarter (26 per cent) of people retiring this year either overestimate by more than £500 a year what the State Pension pays, or simply do not know.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “While the State Pension is a safety net for pensioners in the UK, it should only ever be regarded as part of an overall retirement plan.

“For far too many people, the State Pension has become the default income option in retirement. Even those who have some private provision depend so heavily on the State that it makes up a third of their retirement income.

“Although State Pension levels will rise to £107.45 for single people per week on Friday, this will still only provide relatively low levels of income to people in retirement. It’s a weak safety net for those without any savings and the real income shock for many retirees will come when the gap between their current earnings and the State Pension becomes apparent.

“If people want to maintain their standard of living in retirement it is important that they start to save as much as possible as early as possible, and the vast majority should join company pension schemes where possible. Seeking early advice from a financial adviser should also be a prerequisite to helping people achieve the level of retirement income they want and need.”

Regionally, people retiring this year in the Midlands are the most likely in the UK to rely on the State Pension (40 per cent). This compares with a quarter (28 per cent) of those in Scotland, who claim that they will be the least reliant on the state for their retirement income.

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Standard Life Reveals Less Than A Third Of UK Adults Know When The Tax Year Ends

Standard Life’s ‘Financial Efficiency’ research shows that a large number of people in the UK are at risk of missing the opportunity to capitalise on their ISA tax allowance and their pension contribution limits because they don’t know when the tax year ends. The research, which asked a poll of over 2000 people in the UK to say when they thought the end of the tax year was, found that only three in 10 Brits (31%) know the correct date.

The tax year end falls on April 5th, but the majority of the public (69%) either doesn’t know or thinks it’s a different date. Some said it was earlier in the year, with one in 12 (8% – more than 4.08 million people*) thinking the end of the tax year is April Fool’s day.

But more alarmingly, 7.27 million people** (15%) of respondents believe their tax deadline falls after April 5th. Even those who already actively save into ISAs can still get it wrong. Only 36% of ISA investors were able to correctly identify the tax year end date and a worrying one in six (17%), thought the tax year end was later than April 5th.

People in Northern Ireland seem to be the most clued up on the tax year-end deadline, with almost two in five (38%) identifying the correct date. While people in Wales were the least aware, with only one in four (25%) people able to correctly identify April 5th as the tax year end.

Standard Life’s Julie Russell commented: “Our research shows that few people know when the tax year ends. While more people believe it is before April 5th, each year than after, and that is perhaps less of a worry, it’s a real concern that so many ISA investors don’t know when the annual cut off point is for their investments.

“If you are saving into tax efficient savings or investments like ISAs or pensions, then you really do need to know when the tax year ends. The 5th of April should be front of mind. Otherwise you risk not making the most of these products and their valuable allowances.”

People can find out more about being financially efficient with investments like pensions and stocks and shares ISAs at www.yourfuturemoney.co.uk which also includes top tips and interactive tools.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Research On The Importance Of Women’s Retirement Plans

Prudential has revealed that nearly half (46 per cent) of women over the age of 40 who live with a partner have no pension of their own, according to new research into couples’ attitudes to retirement.

The extent of women’s reliance on a partner’s pension and the State is not the only shock finding from the research, which also highlights that many UK couples could be sleep-walking into retirement poverty as they have no idea what pension income they will need to live on.

More than half (56 per cent) of couples aged over 40 have not worked out how much money they will need to live on in retirement, with two in five (40 per cent) admitting to having no financial plans in place for life after work.

British couples also seem reluctant to discuss with each other the finances that will support them in later life. One in five couples (20 per cent) admit to never having discussed joint retirement financial planning, while only half of those who have already retired made a joint decision about the annuity they bought.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “Pensions may not seem like the most exciting topic for a couple in their forties to be discussing, but couples who have not put time aside to discuss their retirement income plans run the risk of spending their later lives worse off than they had expected.”

In regard to retirement planning, Smith-Hughes stressed how important it is for women to discuss their future finances with their partner, and preferably with a financial adviser too. According to Smith-Hughes, women who don’t engage in these discussions could find themselves in financial trouble, especially if they outlive their loved one.

Smith-Hughes continued: “People may feel they can’t afford to significantly boost their retirement savings in the current financial climate, but taking even the smallest of steps can have a positive impact. Joining a workplace pension scheme, considering a joint life annuity, so the income will continue after one partner dies, and topping up National Insurance contributions are all options which can increase income in retirement. These crucial issues should be discussed between couples and, in turn, with their financial advisers.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Britons Favour Spending On Holidays Over Saving For Retirement

Prudential has revealed that nearly three million working age adults will prioritise going on holiday over continuing to save for their retirement as their finances are squeezed.

The survey asked non-retired adults in the UK to outline their spending priorities when faced with a reduction in monthly expenditure as incomes are frozen for many and living costs increase.

Prudential’s research also found that an estimated 2.5 million Britons (or 10 per cent of those who have started saving for retirement would, if forced to make the choice, continue to spend money on nights out with friends and trips to the cinema ahead of maintaining payments into their pensions.

In a similar vein, more than 2 million would choose clothes shopping or going to the hairdresser ahead of payments into their retirement savings.

The figures highlight how saving for retirement is less of a priority for many in the current financial climate. Having previously revealed that more than 1 in 3 non-retired UK adults have no private or company pension, Prudential’s research has also found that almost a quarter wait until they are 31 years old before paying anything into a pension.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Given the choice, many of us would opt for the immediate benefits of a holiday or a night out with our friends over saving for retirement. However, I’m sure we would all like to be able to continue topping up our tans occasionally or going out for meals after we have retired. So it is really important to strike a balance and keep building up a pension that can support the lifestyle we want to have in later life.

“As people tighten their belts it is important to think about the long-term impact of financial decisions and spending patterns. Those looking to maximise their retirement income should start saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives. Even small contributions can make a significant difference to a pension if invested early. And a consultation with a professional financial adviser will help you make the right long-term and short-term financial decisions.”

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Prudential Reveals One In Three UK Workers Don’t Have A Pension

Prudential has revealed that more than one in three (35 per cent) workers in the UK admit that they don’t have a pension, meaning that they will have to rely on the State Pension and any savings in retirement.

The survey of 1,600 working adults also found that those who do contribute to a company or private pension pay in an average of 6.2 per cent of their annual incomes. Women are far less likely to save for their retirement with 41 per cent saying they do not have a pension, compared with 29 per cent of men.

To make matters worse for those who do not save into a pension fund, as well as facing a sharp drop in income at retirement, they are also missing out on significant tax relief during their working lives. Office of National Statistics figures suggest that the average worker in the UK earns nearly £1 million over the course of their working lives. An individual making the average pension contribution of 6.2 per cent of this income could receive a total of more than £15,000 in pension tax relief.

While the average tax relief on pension contributions is £334 per year for a person paying the basic rate of tax, higher rate taxpayers stand to lose substantially more by not paying into a pension scheme.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “Failing to save into a pension means not only having to rely solely on the State Pension in retirement, but also missing out on the ‘free money boosts’ which come with pensions, such as tax relief and employer contributions.

“Making regular pension contributions is a vital part of securing a comfortable retirement. Although saving for retirement may not be a priority for young people, the more money which is stashed away from an early age, the more likely that significant rewards will be reaped later in life.

“When coupled with the benefits of any additional employer contributions or gains through fund performance, a pension is the best way of saving for retirement, for many people. In order to maximise pension benefits, to understand the impact of tax relief, and ultimately to secure a decent retirement income, it’s important to seek professional financial advice.”

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Prudential Reports Pensioner Inflation To Cut Spending Power 60 Per Cent Over A 20 Year Retirement

Prudential has revealed that pensioners retiring this year on a fixed income could lose 60 per cent of their spending power over the course of a 20 year retirement.

Analysis from Prudential shows that the average person retiring in 2011 expects an annual income of £16,600, but if that income remains fixed it will be worth a mere£6,700 in today’s money in 20 years’ time – effectively a £10,000 pay cut. In fact, assuming that inflation remains at its current level, pensioners will need their retirement income to more than double (to over £40,000), if they expect to maintain their standard of living for the next 20 years.

Pensioner inflation or ‘Silver RPI’ is higher because people of retirement age spend a greater proportion of their income on goods and services that are subject to the highest rates of inflation – such as food and fuel.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Pensioners on a fixed income are particularly vulnerable when it comes to rising living costs and our figures demonstrate the true extent to which ‘Silver RPI’ impacts on the spending power of those in retirement.

“There are alternatives to a fixed income in retirement, for example choosing a flexible income plan that has the potential to grow could help many retirees to mitigate the effects of increasing living costs. We recommend that people approaching retirement seek professional financial advice to help them understand all the retirement income options open them.”

Research by Age UK recently found that ‘Silver RPI’ has averaged 4.6 per cent a year since January 2008 – nearly 50 per cent more than the 3.1 per cent average annual inflation recorded by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) over the same period.

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Prudential Reports Pensioners Set To Lose £2.9 Billion Of Spending Power Over Next 12 Months

Prudential has reported that pensioners in the UK with additional savings held in cash ISAs, savings accounts and current accounts could see their spending power fall by an average of £278 each in the next 12 months, according to new analysis. The calculations show that the combined effects of increased inflation and low interest rates will erode pensioner buying power by a total of £2.9 billion in the coming year.

Pensioners are seeing their cost of living rise 44 per cent faster than the current rate of inflation. This is because a greater proportion of their income is spent on goods and services with prices that are rising ahead of inflation, like fuel and food.

The average pensioner has £19,664 in additional savings, but is likely to see their purchasing power fall considerably as the gap between the interest rates paid on savings and the rate of Silver RPI eats into the value of cash nest eggs in real terms.

According to recent research by Age UK, the average annual inflation recorded by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) has been 3.1 per cent in the period since January 2008. Silver RPI over the same period has averaged 4.6 per cent – resulting in an annual rate of inflation for pensioners that is nearly 50 per cent higher.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Low interest rates and rising Silver RPI mean that many pensioners are particularly feeling the squeeze, and for those who rely on interest paying savings accounts to top up their income the challenge is even greater.

“As most people in Britain feel the financial pressure of rising living costs, pensioners on fixed retirement incomes are facing even higher levels of inflation and are suffering disproportionately.

“We strongly encourage people to speak to a financial adviser to ensure they are making the best use of income-generating investments, bonds and pension funds where relevant, in order to ensure their income has the potential to rise and combat increasing inflation and living costs.”

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Prudential Reports Retirement Income Worries And Lump Sum Regrets For Pensioners

Prudential has conducted new research that shows more than two in five pensioners (43 per cent) say they are living a ‘cautious’ retirement as they worry about having sufficient long-term income to get by.

However, despite concerns about making their retirement pots last, the majority of pensioners still take a tax-free lump sum from their pensions when they retire. Nearly eight out of 10 (79 per cent) of those drawing a company or private pension in 2011 took a lump sum from their fund at retirement, compared with 76 per cent three years ago.

The research, exploring the retirement reality for pensioners in 2011, also found that one in 10 (10 per cent) of those who did take a tax-free lump sum either said they now regret the decision or that they had not fully understood the long-term impact it would have on their retirement income.

For many, the option to take a lump sum at the point of retirement is the most tax-efficient way to access some of their pension fund. However, the way in which pensioners use the money from their lump sum is often shaped by concerns around long-term pension income.

More than half (52 per cent) of those who had taken a lump sum put some of the money in a savings account and just over a quarter (26 per cent) invested in stocks, shares or investment trusts.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Most people with a company or private pension fund choose to take a tax-free lump sum at retirement, and for many this proves to be the right thing to do. However, some pensioners are beginning to regret the way they used the tax-free cash. The days of buying a shiny new car or going on an once-in-a-lifetime holiday may be gone, to be replaced by making savings and investments with the lump sum to supplement retirement income.

“There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the financial choices that people need to make when they retire. For example, spending the money from a tax-free lump sum and taking a level annuity with the balance of your fund will effectively fix the level of your retirement income – and for some this may provide the stability they need. Others may wish to explore more flexible retirement products that take into account the effects of inflation.

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Standard Life Reveals One In Eight UK Adult Can’t Wait For Greater Reward

Standard Life, the long term savings and investments specialist, has conducted a poll and found that one in eight of UK adults adopt a ‘live for the moment’ culture and would choose the instant gratification of a £640 holiday this year, rather than be willing to wait five years for a holiday worth £5,000 instead.*

The figures come from Standard Life’s UK-wide poll and prize draw**, in partnership with boutique hotel specialist i-escape.com, which investigates the nation’s attitudes to planning for the future. Entrants have to vote on which prize they would prefer; a short break this year worth £640, or a holiday of a lifetime in five years time worth £5,000.

Standard Life’s John Lawson said: “Planning five years ahead is something many people find difficult to imagine or do their best to avoid. Our poll shows that some people just seem too impatient to wait for greater rewards in the future, no matter how enticing they are. But being patient and taking a long term view on your finances is precisely what helps you achieve your goals and, ensures you remain financially secure. It might seem easier to take a short term view, but unless you plan ahead how else can you look forward to your future with confidence and optimism?”

Standard Life also points out that if everyone was this impatient, the world would be a far different place. If one in eight of the doctors employed by the NHS weren’t patient enough to finish their studies, the UK would have 14,061 fewer doctors**. Inventions such as the Dyson vacuum cleaner may also have never been made if the inventor Mr James Dyson has been impatient, as it took five years to develop the iconic bagless vacuum cleaner***.

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Standard Life Reveals Brits Think They Cannot Live on £140 a Week

Standard Life’s new research* has revealed that almost two out of three people (63%) think they could not live on £140 a week in retirement, rising to 72% for the 55 and over’s. Only 17% of the 55 and over’s think they could live on £140 a week. The Government has recently proposed a single-tier flat-rate state pension worth around £140 a week, and are currently consulting on how this might be introduced in 2015 at the earliest.

John Lawson, head of pensions policy at Standard Life said: “The introduction of state pensions of £140 a week for all is to be welcomed. This makes it clear and easy for people to understand what they will receive from the government as a pension. However, people clearly recognise that£140 a week will not likely be enough to live on in retirement.”

The research also found there were significant differences of opinion between age groups, with the young more likely to think £140 a week was OK, while those in the older age ranges having had a reality check at the cost of living.

John Lawson concluded with tips for improving overall financial health: “Set up a savings plan to put money away for your future needs. Pensions and are enough to meet the savings needs of 99% of the population. If you are saving for a retirement income, a pension is the most tax efficient home for your money.

“Investing in cash, whilst generally safe, often means that your savings don’t even keep pace with inflation, so don’t be afraid to take some risk, particularly if you are investing for the longer-term. Savings providers now offer personalised investment portfolios, such as Standard Life’s MyFolio, that match the level of risk you are comfortable with.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Research Shows Advisers Turn To With-Profits Investments

New research* from Prudential shows that up to a third of advisers expect to recommend with-profits products to clients this year with bonds the most popular.

Prudential Research Shows Advisers Turn To With-Profits Investments

30 per cent of financial advisers expect to advise clients to invest in with-profits products during 2010. Of those, 63 per cent say with-profits bonds are the most popular with clients, followed by with-profits pensions and then with-profits annuities.

Prudential, whose with-profits fund returned 18.9 per cent in 2009** and paid out £2 billion to policyholders, believes with-profits are increasing in popularity as advisers look for investment products which aim to deliver long-term and steady returns.

The research went on to show 82 per cent of advisers believe long-term performance is the most important attribute when recommending investment products which reflects the growing concern about stock market volatility – just 40 per cent of advisers say the majority of their clients are happy to be subject to market volatility when making investment decisions. Around 22 per cent of advisers say only a minority of their clients are now happy to be exposed to market volatility following recent stock market peaks and troughs.

Andy Brown, Director of Investment Funds at Prudential, said: “With-profits sales have strengthened in the past 18 months as investors have looked for more cautious alternatives to pure equity investment and the growing interest looks set to continue into 2010 despite the strong recovery in the stock market.

“Clearly not all advisers are convinced by the with-profits investment story, however not all with-profits funds are the same and it’s important that investors are not misled by generalisations about the performance of these products. Our consistent approach to smoothing and bonus setting has served our policyholders well, protecting them from the full impact of volatile investment conditions while giving them the confidence of knowing that their savings are invested in a financially strong and well-managed Fund.”

Of those advisers who would recommend with-profits to their clients, 53 per cent said that financial strength was the most important factor when considering a with-profits provider.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Prudential Reveals Imminent Retirees Willing To Work Longer To Secure Higher Pension

According to the latest research* from Prudential’s Class of 2010 retirement survey, 57% of people planning to retire this year would be willing to work on in order to guarantee a higher income when they do retire.

Prudential Reveals Imminent Retirees Willing To Work Longer To Secure Higher Pension

In fact the new study of attitudes to retirement showed that 25% would be happy to work for five years more, with 7% of these people willing to put in another 10 years before retiring.

The research highlights changing attitudes to retirement as people come to terms with increased longevity – as well as the financial effects of the credit crunch and recession on retirement saving plans. The average 65 year-old man is expected to live to 83 and a 65 year-old women is expected to reach 85**.

Prudential found that 18% of those who are planning to retire this year believe they have saved enough to ensure a comfortable retirement and rule out working on even if it could guarantee them a greater income in retirement.

Another 21% refuse to continue working past statutory retirement ages even if that means they will struggle financially.

The research shows it is the over-65s who are the most willing to keep working, with more than three-fifths (62%) saying they would stay in employment to boost their retirement savings.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of retirement income at Prudential, said: “Working beyond the normal retirement age is already a reality for many people who either have insufficient savings or simply want a greater income when they do come to retire.

“But for a lot of people planning to retire in the very near future the state retirement age is sacred and their expectation has always been to retire at 65. Once they reach that milestone, regardless of the amount of money they have, they simply do not want to work anymore. This is a potential issue because the average 65 year-old is likely to live for another 20 more years, and that’s a long time if you’ve only got limited retirement funds.

“I think what our research confirms is how important it is to consider retirement many years before you actually reach it, and make sure you get financial advice to help you plan for retirement.”

Prudential analysis shows that working an extra five years from age 65 and paying£100 a month into a pension of £100,000 could boost a retirement savings by an additional £53,000. Paying in £200 a month over five years could yield an extra£62,000.

The 25% tax relief on pensions contributions means that a monthly deposit of £100 grosses up to £125. The figures assume a 65-year-old male with a selected retirement age of 70, paying additional regular monthly contributions into an existing pension funds of £100,000***.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Retiring Brits Concerned For Health Not Wealth

Prudential has revealed the results of a new survey* that shows failing health tops the list of fears about retirement. The survey found that people planning to retire in 2010 worry more about ill health than having enough money to live on.

Retiring Brits Concerned For Health Not Wealth

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of people approaching retirement fear their health deteriorating, while more than half (55 per cent) worry about not having enough money to be able to enjoy themselves or do the things they want to do. A similar number (54 per cent) say they are concerned about the rising cost of living.

Women appear to worry about their health and money more than men. Almost three-quarters of women (71 per cent) are concerned about their health deteriorating as they get older, compared to 62 per cent of men.

Karin Brown, director of pensions and annuities at Prudential, said: “In reality, people need to be equally as concerned about their money as their health in retirement, particularly women, as we know from our own research that women get less in their pensions than men. It’s totally understandable that people would worry about their health worsening as they get older but without having sufficient money to enjoy retirement and actually keep healthy, there is little to gain from worrying about health.

“There is a direct link between financial security and health and so if you are well prepared financially for your retirement and put yourself in a position where you can live comfortably and have enough money to keep you going, then your health is less likely to be an area of serious concern. You don’t have to be super-rich to enjoy a financially secure retirement. It just takes a bit of careful planning and the earlier you start the better.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Hargreaves Lansdown Named Best Online SIPP Provider of the Year

Hargreaves Lansdown has been named the Best Online SIPP Provider of the year at the Technology Administration and Service (TAS) Awards, 2009.

The awards programme, which is organised by the Pensions and Investment Group of the Financial Times, aims to recognise achievement by providers of products and services to UK advisers.

It is the second award that that Hargreaves Lansdown’s SIPP has received this year, following their award for Best SIPP provider from What Investment, an accolade which the company has received three years in a row.

Following the awards, which were held at the Park Lane Hilton, Alex Davies, Director of Pensions at Hargreaves Lansdown, said “We never get complacent about these things but hope these awards demonstrate our commitment to providing clients with the best information and the best tools to manage their own investments.”

If you are interested in considering a SIPP, visit the Hargreaves Lansdown website, were more information, along with a downloadable, free guide to Self Invested Personal Pensions is available.

Via EPR Network
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