Too many pensions? How to get organised…

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Too many pensions? How to get organised…

4 August 2021

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Two-thirds of UK adults have multiple pensions and over 20% have completely lost one of their pension pots! The majority of us will have six or seven different jobs in our lifetime, leading us to collect multiple pensions; no wonder we often lose them. The Pension Policy Institute estimates that there are over £9.7 billion of unclaimed pensions in the UK. It is typically an individual’s failure to consolidate and organise their pensions that causes this loss.

Losing a pension entirely may be on the extreme end of the spectrum, but there’s a whole host of reasons why it is so important to stay on top of your pensions and consolidate. So, how do we begin?

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First step: organisation

I speak to numerous potential clients who have multiple pensions and, as a result, they often aren’t sure how much is in each, what provider they are with, or how they are invested. This lack of clarity can be unsettling. These pensions are essentially the money that’s going to provide them with what they want out of life, yet they have no grasp on how much they actually have or how it’s invested.

The problem is exacerbated when unexpected obstacles like COVID come along. If there’s economic turmoil, and you aren’t sure what money is where, it can be extremely stressful. In addition, if you want to plan effectively for retirement, knowing exactly how much you have today is the first step to working out how much more you must save. Put simply, you should be able to log on to a single pension platform and know exactly how much money you have, in one place, with ease.

Step two: investing

If you have lots of old workplace pensions, it is likely they are all invested completely differently. They won’t be taking the same level of risk and aren’t invested in line with your needs. Consolidating your pensions into one pot will allow you to gain control of how your money is invested. You can either select a fund that’s actually appropriate for you, or this can be actively managed by a professional. Making this change could literally be the difference between working into your seventies and retiring early. Don’t underestimate it.

Finally: tax management and flexibility

Keeping tabs on potential tax traps, like the lifetime allowance, can be a minefield if you have multiple pension pots. If you have all your pots in one place, it will enable you to easily keep an eye on any tax implications for your money. It’s also important to remember that (if you’re approaching retirement) most old schemes don’t have drawdown facilities, so you’ll need to consolidate them into a single pension to take your income in a controlled fashion.

Find out more in this guide

How much income do you to be comfortable, how much do you need invested and how to pay less tax...

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Overall, there are endless reasons as to why it’s a great idea to consolidate your pension pots. However, ensure you do so with caution and take some advice. Some workplace schemes have exit penalties and protected benefits that could be lost in consolidation –  enhanced levels of tax-free cash for example. Have a financial adviser assess your pensions to ensure a consolidation won’t leave you in a difficult situation.

So, if you’ve started collecting lots of pension pots get on top of it; get consolidating and get organising before it gets out of control. You don’t want to become part of the pension loss statistic.

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Saltus Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority. Information is correct to the best of our understanding as at the date of publication. Nothing within this content is intended as, or can be relied upon, as financial advice. Capital is at risk. You may get back less than you invested.

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Financial planning

Financial planning can help you reach your goals in life, whether you want to determine when you can retire comfortably, bring organisation to your financial world or pass on your wealth effectively.

Pensions and retirement planning

Deciding when to retire is a challenging decision and can feel like a leap of faith. At Saltus, we gather information on all of your existing assets and then use our technology and expertise to show you exactly how to achieve the retirement you’re after.

Reducing your tax burden

How to structure your wealth and access income should be approached in a sophisticated way. A detailed financial plan may use pensions, ISAs, general investment accounts, offshore bonds and other tax wrappers to ensure you can draw your money in a tax-efficient manner.

Consolidating your wealth

Holding multiple investment accounts and pensions can mean they’re hard to keep track of and administer. We’ll help you overcome this by consolidating your accounts into a single plan so that you can understand your financial position with ease.

Protecting you and your assets

We protect our cars and houses without much thought yet you might be the most valuable asset in your family. Whatever your situation, we can provide advice to ensure you have the right level of insurance in place to keep your finances protected.

Passing on your wealth

Estate planning is more important than just having a Will. We’ll work closely with you to understand how estate planning, which has emotional as well as financial consequences, can impact your overall financial plan.

Significant life events

Significant life events can present great opportunities but also considerable challenges. Whether you are going through a business sale, divorce or are receiving a lump sum, we’ll help build a financial plan to meet your changing lifestyle.

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