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22 Retirement Planning


FINANCIAL SERVICES DISTRIBUTED WITH


Understanding pension transfers and how to avoid being scammed


Changes made to pension regulations in 2015 allowed UK pension holders aged 55+ to access up to 100% of their pension funds and take far greater control of their money, including how and when they took their pensions


For many, this increased flexibility was a great thing — either providing them with an immediate cash injec- tion, maybe to clear unmanageable debts, or simply allowing them to take control of their pension and to ensure their loved ones would inherit their entire fund. However, others lost benefits. Tey


Make sure you understand what you’re doing and have been told about the downsides as well as the benefits — don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand


paid unnecessary and unexpected tax bills, and left nothing to provide for their retirement. Worse still, many have been the victims of scams and lost all of their life savings. Early pension release certainly isn’t advis- able for most people. Just because there are some


unscrupulous people out there, don’t let that stop you taking advantage of the pension freedom rules — just make sure you take care where you get advice. A good starting point is the government advisory service Pension Wise: they can’t tell you what to do, but they can help you to understand your options. If you follow these six steps, you won’t be scammed: 1. Check that the firm you’re taking advice from is FCA regulated by checking the FCA register


2. Te FCA register will also show you the date the company started; this is called the Status Effective Date – if this is recently you might want to explore this further


3. If you’re being given a recommen- dation before your adviser has


gathered detailed personal and financial


information about you, chances are you’re being scammed


4. Make sure the advice you receive is provided in writing and you’re given time to digest it without being rushed


5. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and have been told about the downsides as well as the benefits — don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand. It’s a good idea to get a trusted friend or family member to look at the advice as well


6. If the investment advice sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true


How do I find out more? Grove Pension Solutions Ltd was established in 2007 and is an FCA regulated firm, reference number 465051. Any onward investments it recommends are also FCA regulated.


C ORPO RA TE PENSIONS GRO VE PENSION SO L UTIONS GRO VE Request a free information pack


T: 01959 534082 E: info@groveps.co.uk


PENSION RELEASE GRO VE Continued from the top of page 20


Kingsley Napley’s private client lawyers tailor bespoke succession and tax solutions for private individuals, investors, landowners and families in business


What’s the best way to pass on the wealth I’ve accumulated over my lifetime to my children? Maximising the wealth your children receive by softening the impact of inheritance tax is normally achieved by one or more of three essential means: 1. Making gifts while you’re still alive and surviving for the next seven years


2. Investing in assets that qualify for relief from inheritance tax


3. Covering the liability with specific life insurance


IMAGE: GETTY


Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of? Your own financial security in retirement, especially with ever- increasing life expectancy, is


infinitely more important than saving inheritance tax for the benefit of your children. No gifts or tax planning steps should be made or taken that might jeopardise such security. And remember, once you’ve made a gift, you can’t take it back. Tat’s a mistake an awful lot of people make. A gift with strings attached


(continued use of an asset given away) might bring the ‘gift with a reservation’ rules into play, which means that assets given away remain chargeable to inheritance tax on your death. It’s also important to remember


that trusts aren’t a tax-saving weapon. Although putting money into a trust might be appropriate where children or grandchildren are under 18 or otherwise can’t sensibly be given a substantial gift directly, they do carry their own tax consequences, and involve a certain amount of admin and ongoing cost. If you do set up a trust, make


sure you know the trustees well and trust them. Tey’re the people who’ll decide whether, for example, your children can access some of the money for a holiday, their first car, or for university.


Kingsley Napley is an internationally recognised London law firm. Its private client lawyers tailor bespoke succession and tax solutions for private individuals, investors, landowners and families in business. Te team advises on wills, succession planning, probate, powers of attorney and trusts, as well as international personal tax, wealth and philanthropy. kingsleynapley.co.uk/wills


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