Making sense of the options and delivering value: The Blue Sky Approach.
Retirement is not just about pensions. It is about making the right choices at the right time to live the life you want, now and in the future. With our clients, we work to understand:
- When you would like to retire?
- Whether this is realistic?
- If you could retire earlier?
- And of course, how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle but also pursue your dreams?
Our aim is to help you identify ‘your number’ and make a seamless transition from working life into retirement. We guide you on what to do and the pitfalls to avoid. Sometimes, it’s wise to leave your finances flexible if factors such as tax, regulations and market conditions are uncertain.
Pensions are, in simple terms, just another form of investment. Yet there are numerous types of pensions and, with pension legislation changing so rapidly, there is a great deal of confusion and a real need for expertise in this area. We have several pensions specialists on our team.
Many of our clients have collected pension plans throughout their working life, particularly now that people have become more occupationally mobile. We help our clients make sense of what the various pension arrangements mean.
We understand that Retirement Planning can be daunting. We can help optimise contributions into pensions in the most tax efficient way and evaluate the best ways of drawing pension benefits in retirement. We can also assist you if you are worried about breaching pension limits and paying more tax.
If you are looking for guidance with your Pensions, call 01202 756560.
At Blue Sky we offer assistance with five types of pensions:
This is the most common type of pension nowadays, as defined benefit schemes are becoming rare. The changing pension landscape has meant that in general, charges are lower, there is a greater choice of funds and there is more flexibility around contributions. The latest regulation gives the policy holder greater control over how benefits are now taken. We can create investment strategies for our clients within their pensions: see Investments
There is less of a distinction between Self Invested Pension Schemes and Personal Pensions than there used to be. The principle behind Self Invested Schemes is that an investor can access a wide range of investment vehicles including buying commercial property. We only tend to utilise Self Invested Schemes for a particular need such as a property purchase. Buying direct equities (shares) or Investment Trusts used to be only possible via a Self Invested Scheme but they can now be bought via many personal pension arrangements.
As the name suggests this arrangement allows clients to manage their own investment strategies if they prefer. Typically, we end up managing the majority of the money (see Investment series) and our clients manage a smaller proportion via shares.
Defined Benefit Schemes
Whilst we don’t manage any defined benefit schemes we are able to give guidance and advice around how best to take benefits. This is particular to each individual for it very much depends upon a client’s circumstances as to what is appropriate. For Defined Benefit Schemes which aren’t Government funded, we are able to facilitate a transfer value analysis to ascertain the merits of transferring into a personal pension arrangement. Generally, the advice would be to remain a member of such a scheme but with the new pension freedoms there are situations where a transfer is deemed to be best advice.
Executive and Directors Pensions
We often find that Executive Management and Directors don’t have a sophisticated retirement strategy befitting their status. This may be because they are in old cumbersome schemes or they have a more gold plated pension arrangement than the rest of the employees but don’t have an active investment strategy, or they are in the same arrangement as the rest of the employees but again, with no investment strategy. We offer an active investment service for pensions held by Executives and Directors.
Large Defined Contribution Pension Schemes
We do not get involved in establishing such schemes but for employees we can offer a collective service whereby we provide an active investment advisory service. Here, we provide advice as to what assets and funds employees should be purchasing, bearing in mind their risk approach, in harmony with economic and market conditions.
We find that whilst the information provided by such schemes is generally excellent, employees really struggle to understand how to position their own personal strategy. We help members decipher the information and guide them as to what funds to purchase. Regular communication means that we are frequently repositioning these assets in accordance with changing market conditions.