Tag Archives: Retirement


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.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Brits Hiding £4.6 Billion From Their Partners In Secret Saving Stashes

Prudential has revealed that fifteen per cent of Britons over the age of 40 and living with their partner choose to keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.

The survey, which examines couples’ attitudes to financial planning, was conducted among savers over the age of 40 and living with a partner. It found that as many as 4.5 million* Britons could be concealing savings or investments worth an average of£1,037 from their spouse or partner – a secret stash of approximately £4.6 billion.

One in ten (9 per cent) of those choosing to keep their funds hidden do so because they don’t trust their other half’s financial decision making, while a further quarter (23 per cent) admit that this is a security measure, in case they should split up with their partner.

Women are more likely to keep their funds hidden from their partner, with 18 per cent admitting to hiding savings averaging £1,002. This compares with 12 per cent of men, who conceal an average fund of £1,072.

A prudent two in five (42 per cent) secret savers plan to use the money to supplement their retirement income – even though 20 per cent of those surveyed admit to never having discussed financial planning for retirement with their spouse or partner.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “By harbouring secret stashes of money, many couples are failing to plan sufficiently for their joint retirement. While it is understandable that some people in relationships want to be able to spend their own money, it is important for couples to have regular and open discussions about financial planning for the sake of maximising their retirement incomes. Only then can they decide how to make the best possible joint provision for the future.

“Consulting a financial adviser together is an important part of this on-going dialogue and can help couples to secure the income and lifestyle they expect in retirement.”

Prudential’s survey also found that nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of Britons feel uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with their partner. While two thirds (67 per cent) of couples say they have not received professional financial advice together in the past five years, one in 10 people claim that either they or their partner has independently visited an adviser within the past five years.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Losing A Loved One Is Greatest Fear In Retirement

Standard Life has revealed that a third (32 per cent) of retired Britons declared that losing a partner, loved one or close friend is their greatest fear in retirement.

The savings and investment specialist Standard Life is using the research to encourage the public to consider their estate planning requirements, including the creation of a Will, so they can ensure their loved ones are financially secure after their death.

Standard Life is highlighting to the public they should seek professional advice as the legislation associated with passing on wealth is very complicated and the rules between married and civil partnered couples does not apply to cohabiting couples or close friends. The simplest way for individuals to ensure their estate is paid to the right people is to create a legally binding Will – previous research from Standard Life showed that as little as 48 per cent* of the people in the UK have a Will in place.

Further results from the research shows in light of the current inflationary pressures the public is facing, the rising cost of living (20 per cent) is the retired population’s country’s second worst fear in retirement and worries about getting returns on their savings and investments (11 per cent) coming in third for those surveyed.

Julie Curtis, technical manager at Standard Life, said: “Regardless of an individual’s age losing a loved one can have a serious financial impact, but this problem is accentuated in retirement. And while married and civil partner couples benefit from the spousal inheritance tax exemption and the transferable nil rate band, cohabiting couples or close friends don’t.

“The complications of dying without a Will can be devastating on others and this is made even worse when going through the heartache of personal loss. Seeking the right advice when creating a Will ensures loved ones will be financially secure and that their wealth is passed on correctly. The cost of creating one will be far less than any legal fees your family, partner or friends will incur in trying to reclaim the estate.”

The research also shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of the UK want to leave an inheritance to their children, with a tenth (11 per cent) directing it to their grandchildren.

Julie continued: “It’s understandable that parents and grandparents want to pass their wealth on to the next generations and they should ensure they have a Will in place, which reflects this. Dying without one can create a complicated and costly process, possibly causing family rifts and further grief for those left behind.”

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Announces That Economic Climate Could Force Retirement Rethink

Standard Life, the savings and investment specialist, has published new insight that suggests that the UK could be heading towards a perfect retirement storm; one in five (21%) of 45-65 year-olds who have financial plans in place to provide for their long term future no longer feel that their financial plans will support them into the future. Six per cent in this age group who aren’t already retired don’t think they will ever be able to retire, equating to over three quarters of a million people.

Of those who have financial plans in place to provide for their long term future, 64% of 45-65s feel confident that their financial plans will support their future post retirement. Twenty-one per cent of these adults no longer feel their plans will support them into the future, with a further 10% having never felt confident. Thirty-seven per cent of 45-65s have no financial plans in place for their long-term future; yet 72% of people currently aged between 45 and 65 who aren’t retired think they will retire between 61 and 70 years old.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy at Standard Life said: “The current financial crisis has brought into sharp focus the need to make and review appropriate plans. This will clearly be challenging but there are many things you can do to make your retirement years as secure as possible.”

As part of the Changing Face of Retirement research, Standard life has published a list of top tips to help people re-engage with their financial planning, which includes seeking professional advice, continually reviewing financial goals, making a clear plan, reviewing investments, considering deferment of the state pension and increasing savings. Also included in Standard Life’s top tips is to claim tax-relief, as Standard Life estimates that 300,000 people are not claiming this currently.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Inflation Can Reduce A Retiree’s Purchasing Power By 68%

Standard Life, the savings and investment specialist, has warned that the effects of inflation can seriously damage one’s retirement wealth. New data released today shows that a 90-year-old who retired in 1981, when petrol cost 35p a litre, would have seen the purchasing power of a £10,000-a-year level pension income fall to just £3,207 today.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy at Standard Life said: “Inflation can have a huge impact on the purchasing power of your retirement income. As people are living longer, retirement income needs to go that much further, with a 60-year-old man retiring today living on average for another 26


“Our research shows that 57% of people do recognise that an income keeping pace with inflation is attractive. But currently, and somewhat inevitably, the majority go for the higher starting income of a level annuity, leaving only 3% choosing an inflation linked annuity. This is perhaps understandable given that annuity rates have reached record lows and level annuities start at a higher rate than their inflation linked alternatives.

“People approaching retirement need to consider their own personal inflation rate may be higher in the future than that of the average person in the UK due to the types of products and services they will consume. After 10 years in retirement, a 60-year-old man who had purchased a RPI linked annuity with a fund of £100,000 could achieve a higher annual income than someone who had purchased a level annuity.”

An example provided by the data shows the purchasing power in today’s money of a £100,000 pension fund being used by a 60-year-old man retiring in October 2011 to purchase a level or RPI-linked annuity. Various rates of inflation are shown over a 30-year period. If inflation averaged 7% over a ten-year period, the then 70-year old man would begin to receive a higher annual retirement income than if he had purchased a level annuity.

Please note in this example the level annuity receives a higher starting income than the RPI-linked version. At year 10, with inflation at 7%, there is a crossover when the RPI-linked annuity annual income exceeds the level annuity annual income. At year 22, the total payments from the RPI-linked annuity exceed the total payments from the level annuity.

Lawson concluded: “Low inflation has persisted for the last 15 years or so, but there is no guarantee that it will continue. Rising world demand for food and fuel, without a similar increase in supply, has seen prices for the basics rocket. People retiring today need to consider that they will still need to pay for food, fuel and other essentials for a long time into the future and that these basic items are likely to cost a lot more in 10 year’s time than they do today.

“There are many options to consider at retirement which could minimise the impact of inflation on your income, so seeking financial advice is vital.”

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.”

Via EPR Network
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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.”

Via EPR Network
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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.

Via EPR Network
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Brainwashing Book Readers Prepared For Stock Market Correction — Again!

“The Brainwashing of The American Investor”, now in its second edition, provides you with a proven methodology for successful personal investment portfolio management. Step by step instructions for asset allocation, security selection universe creation, diversification, and profit taking are presented in an anecdotal manner, based on the Author’s hands-on professional experiences.

Author and former private investment manager Steve Selengut developed the Market Cycle Investment Management (MCIM) methodology in 1970, way ahead of the Wall Street product development curve that has now succeeded in bringing the most speculative and risky ventures on the planet into your investment portfolio.

MCIM is a disciplined, common sense, approach to investing without needless speculation. It is an approach that semi-automatically takes your profits out of bubbling markets, and for all the right reasons, re-enters weaker markets systematically in preparation for the inevitable “next” rally.

“The Brainwashing of the American Investor” teaches you about old-school investing without gimmicks, derivatives, incomprehensible “modern portfolio management” techniques, funds of funds, or astrological charts.

The Market Cycle Investment Management methodology helped navigate thousands of “Brainwashing” book readers around and through the three major financial crises (stock market meltdowns) of the author’s lifetime: the “Crash of 1987”, the “Dot-Com Bubble”, and the recent “financial crisis”.

The first time through “Brainwashing” you’ll learn about Wall Street, and why they would prefer that you didn’t read the book in the first place. Your eyes will be opened by the simplicity of the security selection process, the no frills approach to sensible asset allocation, and the ease with which you can increase your annual investment income in a reduced risk environment.

Via EPR Network
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Retirement Planning: Roth IRA Basics

A Roth IRA, or individual retirement account, is one of the most beneficially retirement planning opportunities available. They offer tax-free growth and are an ideal way to become financially independent by retirement. They are available to people who are not eligible for a 401(k) employer matching contribution and people who are able to save more money for retirement than the amount that their employer matches.

People can open a Roth IRA at the majority of bank and brokerage offices in person and online. The forms are basic and assistance is generally available. Typically all that is needed is a social security number and the social security numbers of any potential beneficiaries that may be placed on the account.

When creating a financial plan, an individual must consider their earned income when it comes to their Roth IRA. The contribution amount permitted is limited by the earned income, which includes wages and self-employed earnings. This, however, does not include interest or dividends. For people who are married, the contribution is limited to the total of the combined earned income.

The contributions limits for Roth IRA retirement planning accounts can vary from year to year. This can also vary by age. Generally, if you are under 50 years of age, you can contribute up to $5,000. If you are over 50 years of age, you can put in up to $6,000. These are the combined contribution amount. An applicant should obtain financial guidance to find out specifics.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Over A Third Of Women Face Retirement Poverty

Prudential has revealed new research that shows more than a third of women (35 per cent) planning to retire in 2010 will receive an income which is below the poverty line* – £14,000 a year or less – according to the latest findings** from Prudential’s Class of 2010 retirement survey.

Prudential Reports Over A Third Of Women Face Retirement Poverty

By comparison 29 per cent of men will face their retirement on an income of less than £14,000 a year.

The gender gap becomes even starker over the age of 65 where 42 per cent of women over 65 will have incomes below the poverty line compared with 33 per cent of men. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a single person in Britain needs to earn at least £13,900 a year before tax** in order to afford a basic, but acceptable standard of living.

Overall nearly a third (32 per cent) of people planning to retire in 2010 will have an income that falls below the poverty line.

Via EPR Network
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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
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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
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Prudential Has Further Developed Its Annuity Range This Spring With The Launch Of A Reinvigorated Flexible Lifetime Annuity

The launch comes at a time when falling corporate bond rates are putting downward pressure on conventional annuity rates and people in retirement are increasingly looking beyond traditional choices when considering their retirement income options.

Prudential Has Further Developed Its Annuity Range This Spring With The Launch Of A Reinvigorated Flexible Lifetime Annuity

The new Flexible Lifetime Annuity launches with a £35,000 minimum purchase price (after tax-free cash) – down f r o m £75,000 – and no maximum limit, making it more accessible to more customers.

The fund range is also improved and now comes complete with a range of 50 funds, 32 of which are new.

The increased number of funds will mean a wider investment choice for people who select the Flexible Lifetime Annuity in their retirement. It will include funds f r o m the leading investment houses including Artemis, AXA, BlackRock, Gartmore, and JP Morgan among others, while retaining the current range which includes funds f r o m Invesco, M&G, Newton and Prudential.

The rationale behind increasing the number of funds is to provide greater variety and flexibility within the four investment strategies offered by the Flexible Lifetime Annuity product.

Flexible Lifetime Annuity customers can choose f r o m one of four investment strategies – cautious, standard, adventurous and the self-managed investment strategy – which reflect the level of risk for each strategy, rather than the funds within the portfolio.

By increasing number of funds within the Flexible Lifetime Annuity customers will have an opportunity for greater exposure to a complete range of risk graded funds, each designed to suit both current and future appetite to risk, and with the built-in option to switch funds throughout the lifetime of their Flexible Lifetime Annuity.

Vince Smith-Hughes, Prudential’s head of business development for retirement income, said: “We are seeing a shift in the options that people are prepared to consider when selecting an annuity. Greater choice, flexibility and investment diversity are becoming increasingly important to our customer base as it becomes more sophisticated.

“A new lower minimum investment amount and a revamped fund range has increased the choice available to customers and is part of our strategy to offer the widest range of annuities in the UK.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

According to new research from Prudential, nearly a fifth (18%) of people planning to retire in 2010 will be retiring on the State Pension and savings.

Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

But 31% of the people surveyed in Prudential’s nationwide Class of 2010 study either do not know how much the basic State Pension pays or over-estimate the individual weekly amount by £25 or more.

Prudential warns the basic State Pension alone may not provide sufficient retirement income for many and urges people who are still working to save as much as possible for their old age in company and personal pensions as well as savings and investments.

“Given that so many people expect to retire on the basic State Pension, particularly when only half know how much it pays, there is still a clear need for people to understand the consequences of not making adequate provision for their retirement,” said Martyn Bogira, Director of Defined Contribution Solutions at Prudential.

“If the basic State Pension is your only source of income you could be in an extremely precarious position financially. Just one significant financial emergency, like your central heating system unexpectedly breaking down, could cause serious financial hardship for people expecting to retire on the State Pension alone.

“On its own the basic State Pension, paying just under £5,000 a year, should only really be used to supplement other sources, such as income from a pension or an annuity.

“We would urge people to pay as much as they possibly can into their retirement savings, because the State alone is unlikely to be able to support you in your retirement. The sooner you start saving, either into a company pension, personal pension or other savings, the greater the amount of money you can build up to help provide for you when you do come to retire.”

Average expenditure in households headed by someone aged 65 to 74 was £321 a week, according to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures from 2007, and £218 a week for households headed by someone aged 75 or over, but today the basic State Pension for married couples lags behind this figure by paying £152.30 a week.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Warns Of State Of Ignorance Over Retirement Age Rise

New research from Prudential shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of 45 to 49 year-olds and two-fifths (39 per cent) of 50 to 54 year-olds are unaware of the rise in the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55 which comes into effect on 6 April this year. The increase in the minimum retirement age could be a particular blow to people aged 50 to 55 who are planning to retire this year, Prudential warns.

Prudential is urging people who will be affected by the increase in minimum retirement age to speak to financial advisers and pension providers ahead of the 6 April deadline and stresses there is still time to act.

The new minimum retirement age – first announced by the Government in 2004 – will prevent many people aged between 50 and 55 from claiming private or company pension benefits and especially taking the tax-free cash element of their pension fund until they
are 55.

For those who had planned to retire at 50, the higher minimum age will mean five years without access to pension benefits or tax-free cash.

Prudential’s research has found that 6 per cent of the UK’s 3.9 million adults aged 50 to 54 – equivalent to more than 230,000 people – said they planned to retire in 2010.

Karin Brown, Director of Annuities at Prudential, said: “People who want to take their pension benefits and any tax-free cash allowance still have nearly three months to decide what they want to do.

“Prudential strongly urges people approaching retirement to contact a financial adviser or talk to their pension provider about the options available.

“The Government first announced the changes to the minimum retirement age nearly six years ago so there has been plenty of time for the news to sink in. It is worrying that so many are still unaware but there is time to act before rules change.”

The information contained in Prudential UK’s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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Workers Beyond Retirement Age To Double In 10 Years

Prudential has revealed that UK businesses are bracing themselves for a surge in staff looking to delay retirement with around 1.8 million people expected to be working beyond traditional retirement ages in just 10 years.

The findings from new research commissioned by Prudential among finance directors at UK businesses found 24% of companies expect staff to work beyond retirement age in the next 10 years, with the proportion of people in the workforce who are past traditional retirement ages expected to more than double to 1.8 million people.

Larger companies expect to see an even greater proportion of their workforce working beyond retirement, with 39% of finance directors at larger firms expecting to have to accommodate requests from staff to work longer.

UK companies anticipate this will mean around 6.3% of their workforce (equivalent to 1.8 million people across the UK working population) will be made up of people working beyond statutory retirement ages in 10 years, more than double the current proportion of 2.6% of company workers (equivalent to around 752,700 people***) who currently work past retirement.

The study also found that in the past 12 months alone, 7% of finance directors have reported an increase in the number of employees asking to work past traditional retirement ages.

Martyn Bogira, Prudential’s Director of Defined Contribution Solutions, said: “As health and longevity continue to improve and people look to fund a longer life in retirement, it is inevitable that compromises have to be made.

“The statutory retirement age for men and women is due to rise to 68 by 2046, so working longer will be a fact of life for those entering the workforce today but these findings suggest that increasing numbers of pensioners will be forced to work later far sooner than this. Employers have told us that their staff costs could rise as their employees work for longer.

“Workers face the stark choice of either having to save more for their pension from an earlier age or having to work longer if they are to avoid taking a significant drop in their standard of living in retirement. Early pension saving is critical and we strongly encourage people not to delay starting a pension.”

The research also identified a clear North/South divide. Companies in the north of the country expect an average of 16.2% of their staff to work past the statutory retirement age compared with an average of 2.4% in Greater London and the South East.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

New Tax Law for Roth IRA May Be a Bad Deal for Taxpayers

In 2010 millions of Americans will be able to do something they have never done before—convert their IRA into a Roth IRA account. Current 2009 limitations do not allow anyone who makes more than $100,000 per year to convert their traditional retirement funds into a Roth IRA.

However, beginning in 2010, the Roth IRA conversion restrictions are being lifted. But is this really a good thing for taxpayers?

“Roth IRAs are a bad idea for taxpayers because they are paying taxes now in order to avoid paying taxes on distributions that are taken later,” said Jeff Nabers, CEO of Nabers Group. The problem is partly the economic crisis that we are in. “It makes sense if we were in a commodity-based monetary system, but we’re not. We have a fiat currency system that creates an inflationary environment in which Roth conversion is a good deal for the government and a bad deal for the taxpayer.”

Additionally, the Roth IRA conversion can be costly for the taxpayers. If they opt to convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, the IRS will view this as a taxable event. Accountholders will be taxed based on the entire conversion amount for their current tax bracket. The income taxes due on the 2010 conversion can be spread over two years. However, future conversions must be included in income reports to the IRS and will be taxed during the tax year in which the conversion is completed.

Nabers cautions his clients to carefully look at all their options when considering the Roth IRA conversion. He suggests, “Instead they should continue using their non-Roth Retirement accounts for the maximum tax benefit.”

Nabers, the author of Five Steps To Freedom: How to Cut Your Dependence on Institutions and Escape Financial Slavery, points out that the most important thing that taxpayers can do in these economic times is to find alternative investment solutions. “We’re likely heading into an era of significant inflation. I recommend that people seek alternatives to volatile Wall Street Securities and dollar-denominated assets in general.”

“The action that I recommend is to get more educated on the matter and look at both sides of the story before making a decision,” said Nabers. He says deciding to convert to a Roth IRA could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Before paying taxes using half of your savings, wealth, or retirement account, consult experts about all of your options. What you don’t know could hurt you—so seek knowledge and information so that you can make an informed decision that you won’t regret.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Jeff Nabers, CEO Of Nabers Group, Cautions Against The Use Of 401(k), IRA Rollovers As A Financing Strategy For A Business Start-up

One unforeseen consequence of the current recession has been the increasing number of Americans who have stumbled into entrepreneurship after losing their jobs to round after round of layoffs. Many of these people have taken one look at a job market where the unemployment rate is nearly 20% in some regions and decided to start their own businesses. It’s a bold move and certainly there is something very admirable about the idea, but also a risky one, with about half failing in the first few years; making financing a small business start-up something, which should be done with great care.

There are a lot of people who think of using 401(k) or IRA rollovers as a source of financing the start-up costs of a new business or to cover the purchase of an existing one. While you may see a lot of praise for these plans (called ROBS for Roll Over Business Start-up by the IRS), especially online where their proponents try to sell would-be entrepreneurs on the merits of this form of financing, many financial industry experts strongly recommend thinking again about using your IRA or 401(k) to fund your small business.

One of these financial experts is Jeff Nabers, CEO of the Denver financial planning company Nabers Group. Nabers has written about how ROBS work and their risks on his blog, where he warns against using these financing vehicles.

“It’s entirely understandable that people are tempted by ROBS; the recession hasn’t made small business financing easy to come by and there are more Americans than ever trying to start their own businesses. However, there are a lot of risks associated with using IRA and 401(k) rollovers. Beyond the old diversification maxim of ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ the legality of the ROBS strategy has been on shaky ground. There’s a basic rule that prohibits “self dealing” for any retirement account participant, but ROBS promoters have attempted to skirt this by creating a loophole that claims a special exemption. Unfortunately, a government ruling from 2006 closed that loophole. ROBS structures could face a stiff penalty, which amounts to approximately 115% of your retirement funds,” says Nabers.

“It’s a subject that is somewhat controversial in the financial services industry, but as I have been informed by government officials and my legal counsel, the 2006 ruling means ROBS no longer occupies a legal gray area even. I can’t recommend these to my clients in good conscience. I don’t see a bright future for this strategy of funding, to put it mildly,” added Nabers.

Jeff Nabers isn’t alone in sounding the alarm about ROBS and other rollover schemes – there has been a lot of concern expressed by financial experts in the last year. Previously, ROBS was considered high risk, but as Nabers’ put it, “My recent DOL meeting was the nail in the coffin of the ROBS loophole.”

Nabers unabashedly encourages entrepreneurship in spite of the government’s unfavorable stance on ROBS. His message to would-be ROBS users is: “Start and fund your venture anyway [without ROBS]. You can still raise money from others, including from their IRA and 401(k) accounts. Frankly, that is actually a surer path to success because raising money from others will cause you to be more thorough in your business planning.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases