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For many people, a pension is their largest source of income in retirement. And traditionally, when you retire, your pension fund would immediately be used to provide a secured income for your lifetime. Although there has been some flexibility around this since the mid-1990s, the ‘Pension Freedoms’ announced in 2015 allowed even more choice but also more complexity.
There is a limit to how much you can save into your pension tax-free over your lifetime, known as the lifetime allowance (LTA). It’s been controversial because the government has steadily reduced the limit down from £1.8m in 2012. From this April 2019, the limit will be £1.055m.
The annual allowance is the amount you can contribute to your pension tax free. For most people, this limit has been £40,000 since April 2014. However, if you are a high earner (i.e. total income above £150,000 in a year), a new tapering rule came into effect in 2016.
State pensions are becoming less generous. Traditional employer pensions are falling by the wayside. And there are fewer young people to fund the pensions of our ageing population. Our guest contributor Baroness Ros Altmann, CBE and former Minister of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, considers the facts about retirement, and explores the notion that the ‘magic age’ beyond which we no longer work has become a thing of the past.
If you’re thinking, ‘But retirement is miles away’ or ‘I haven’t reviewed my pension for a while’ it may be time to consider your options. It’s never too early to start planning ahead or to review your existing pension arrangements.
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IMPORTANT: Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.