Planning for retirement

International social security agreements

Income options for your pension under the 2015 rules

Claiming higer rate tax relief

“You pay Income Tax on your earnings before any pension contribution, but the pension provider claims tax back from the government at the basic rate of 20%. In practice, this means that for every £80 you pay into your pension, you end up with £100 in your pension pot. If you pay tax at higher rate, you can claim the difference through your tax return or by telephoning or writing to HMRC. If you’re an additional rate taxpayer you’ll have to claim the difference through ”

A guide to claiming higer rate tax relief

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS)

Analysis of Member States’. Bilateral Agreements on Social Security with Third Countries

List of qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) List

Overseas pension schemes

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme

Self invested personal pension

Self-invested personal pension
“A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is the name given to the type of UK government-approved personal pension scheme, which allows individuals to make their own investment decisions from the full range of investments approved by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

SIPPs are a type of Personal Pension Plan. Another subset of this type of pension is the Stakeholder Pension Plan. SIPPs, in common with personal pension schemes, are tax “wrappers”, allowing tax rebates on contributions in exchange for limits on accessibility. The HMRC rules allow for a greater range of investments to be held than Personal Pension Plans, notably equities and property. Rules for contributions, benefit withdrawal etc. are the same as for other personal pension schemes.”

“If you want to unleash yourself from pension providers and take control of your own retirement planning with a low-cost DIY option, then a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) might be the route for you.”

Investor’s Guiding Principles

An Investor’s Manifesto: 20 Guiding Principles for Investment Success

An Investor’s Manifesto

How to retire at 55
“1. Claim your share of the £35 billion the taxman gives pension savers
2. Start a pension – the earlier the better
3. If they offer you a pension at work, take it!
4. Check where your pension is invested
5. Make small, regular increases – they could go a long way
6. Track down old pensions
7. Approaching retirement? Make sure you know about the new options
8. Act whilst time is on your side”

Pension Tracing Service – trace a personal or workplace pension scheme

Find a lost pension

Common concerns Lost pensions

My pension and the charges of the heavy brigade, By Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
“● Cut costs. Bestinvest’s charges are competitive for Sipps at 0.3 per cent a year. Ludo could opt for cheaper funds – paying no more than 0.75 per cent to an active manager, preferably less, and go for a fund with low portfolio turnover. Using passive funds, which just track an index, would reduce costs even more, but he will never outperform the index;
● Take risks. Higher risk assets could bring higher rewards, but this is not guaranteed and may increase volatility;
● Pay in more. An initial £10,000 a year, rising 2 per cent each year could transform pension prospects. With net growth of 4.5 per cent a year, the fund will run to almost £700,000 by 2036;
● Downsize. Ludo is a homeowner in a good central London postcode. Moving somewhere cheaper will free up cash;
● Save elsewhere. Pensions are not the only savings vehicle. Isas are a simple and flexible alternative;
● Use the state pension. After 2016, every year of delay in drawing state pension benefits increases the payout by 5 per cent. This may be a cheaper way of securing additional income than an annuity;
● Retire later. Quitting at 62 is not very rock’n’roll. Just look at septuagenarians like Mick Jagger and Leonard Cohen. Ludo could work into his seventies, allowing extra time to build up savings. Pension savers are no longer required to buy an annuity by the age of 75.”

Delivering pensions guidance: January 2015 update

“A free and impartial government service about your defined contribution pension options.”

uncrystallised funds pension lump sums

Uncrystallised funds pension lump sum

Taxation of Pensions Bill: briefing note

UFPLS explained

What is an Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS)?

The Pensions Regulator: How to find a pension scheme

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Retirement Plans (HBO)

Retirement Plans: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Be a ScamSmart investor
“check the FCA Warning List
avoid investment scams
avoid pension scams
check the Financial Services Register
view the most searched for investment scams
report a scam or unauthorised firm”

How to avoid pension scams
“on’t let a scammer enjoy your retirement – find out how pension scams work, how to avoid them and what to do if you suspect a scam.”

The Pensions Advisory Service, End of Tax Year Planning
“Normally between you and, if you’re employed, your employer you can pay a maximum of £40,000 gross
into a pension in a tax year (but note that an individual can only receive tax relief up to the amount of their
earnings). This £40,000 limit is called the Annual Allowance.
You (and your employer) can use any unused Annual Allowance from the last three tax years but only if
you had a UK registered pension in those years. The concept of using previous year’s Annual Allowance
is called carry forward. Please see below the Annual Allowances for this and the previous 3 tax years:
6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020 £40,000
6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 £40,000
6 April 2017 to 5 April 2018 £40,000
6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017 £40,000
You will lose the opportunity to carry forward any unused Annual Allowance from the 2016/17 tax
year from 6 April 2020.

When it comes to your personal contributions into a pension, if you are under the age of 75, you normally
receive tax relief up to your earnings in the tax year. This does not include savings income or pension
income. Any personal contributions above your earnings may result in tax relief being ‘clawed’ back. If
you are employed, your employer may also make contributions, and these are not limited by your
earnings. However, any contributions above the Annual Allowance will result in a tax charge if there is no
option for carry forward.
Most personal pensions will reclaim tax relief at source from HMRC so therefore you would normally pay
a ‘net’ contribution which would be ‘grossed’ up by 20% to receive the tax relief. An example would be a
net contribution of £400 would have £100 of tax relief collected automatically by your pension provider
from HMRC so you have £500 invested in your pension. ”

“What if I am a high earner?

As of 6 April 2016, the annual allowance for high earners was reduced. This reduction is called the
Tapered Annual Allowance (TAA) and reduces the Annual Allowance by £1 for every £2 above gross
income (including pre-pension contribution earnings) of £150,000 p.a. (known as ‘adjusted income’).
This covers all income including savings and pension income as well as the value of your employer’s
pension contributions. Your Annual Allowance can only be reduced to £10,000 p.a. when you reach the
£210,000 p.a. threshold or above.
From the 2020/21 tax year the £150,000 limit is being raised to £240,000, and Annual Allowance
is reduced to £4,000 when your income is £312,000 or more.
You will still be able to carry forward unused Annual Allowance from previous tax years and if your
income subsequently drops to below the threshold you will be restored to the normal Annual Allowance
for that tax year. If you have earnings of £110,000 p.a. (post-pension contributions) (known as ‘threshold
income’) you will not be affected by the TAA. From the 2020/21 tax year the £110,000 limit is being
raised to £200,000.
If you are likely to be affected by the TAA, you could ask your employer if there is an alternative benefit
to being a member of a pension scheme. Bear in mind that, even with a tax charge, your employer’s
pension scheme may still be a valuable benefit. Alternatively, you may wish to consider other
investments with tax incentives. You could consult a regulated financial adviser if you wish to discuss