Make the most of your pension this Pension Awareness Week 2023 and start planning for retirement

When you add the word pension to anything, it feels more complicated than it should be. The good news is that pensions can really be quite simple. You’re saving some money now, while you are working, for when you stop working or reduce your working days. The Government wants you to save, so there are some great tax incentives to save money into a pension scheme.

Pension Awareness Week 2023

Pension Awareness Week 2023 (Monday 11th September to Friday 15th September) aims to help improve awareness and understanding of your pension and get you planning for retirement. This week there are live ‘shows’ every day on topics from combining your pension pots to the New State Pension. You can find all the shows and book yourself a place here on the Pensions Awareness Day website.

You can also get lots of information about pensions on Money Helper, it’s free and impartial and backed by the Government. If you really, really like the detail, you can go onto the HMRC website and read The Pensions Tax Manual.

How can I make the most of my pension?

Be aware

The first and most important step is to be aware. Don’t just stick your annual statement in a drawer as far away as possible so you don’t have to think about it for another year. Instead give it some attention just like you would any other savings account or investment you have ever set up.

Goals and aspirations

Secondly, understand what your goals and aspirations are for the future as well as the things you worry about. This could be questions like: How much will I need to live, when I get older? Will I still be able to support my partner and children? Am I saving enough? Am I saving into the right thing? Being aware of how much you’re saving and your potential plans for retirement, will help you answer these questions.

Know your options

Thirdly, make sure you know your options. As a business owner you may have options open to you that others won’t consider. You may have heard of Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs), where people buy commercial property through their pensions with their business as a tenant. If your business is a limited company then a pension can be a great way of taking money out of your business, as a business expense (reducing corporation tax liabilities) and putting the money into your own name, tax efficiently.

Expert advice

Finally, consider whether you need thorough, professional independent financial planning advice. We use our expertise, what we know about you and your business, your circumstances, your objectives and needs, to build a plan that is tailored to you.

How can a Chartered Financial Planner help?

As Westcotts Chartered Financial Planners, working with our colleagues in the Chartered Accountancy Practice, we are well placed to give you and your business the advice you need from a financial planning perspective, a tax planning perspective, and a business planning perspective, to help you plan for retirement.

If you are an individual, a sole trader, in a business partnership, or a limited company owner it is essential that either you, or your advisers, understand the significance of pensions in securing your financial future. Time is money, expert advice comes at a cost, but it can save you money in the long run and ease any worries. In the meantime, you can concentrate on growing and maintaining your business.

About Westcotts

Westcotts Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers offer a personal and local service, valuing relationships above all else. Collaborating with their clients and tailoring their approach, Westcotts has been supporting South West businesses and individuals, across a diverse range of sectors, for more than 30 years. Westcotts. We’re here.

Steven Clemence is a Chartered Financial Planner and a Fellow of the PFS. He specialises in advising small and medium businesses in relation to both their business protection needs (shareholder/partnership protection, key person insurance, relevant life insurance, executive income protection), and their pension needs (workplace pensions, Self-Administered Personal Pensions- and Small Self-Administered Pension Schemes). Add in decades of experience, and working with your accountancy and legal advisers, he is well placed to guide you through the complex landscape of retirement planning.

Written by Steven Clemence

September 12, 2023

Category: Blog

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