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Assessing the Need for a Pension

Richard Beardsworth Pension Expert

By Richard Beardsworth.

Independent Financial Advisor

More Reading on Pensions...

A pension is an income that a person can receive up on their retirement and there are a number of reasons to invest in a pension as well as receiving a State Pension.

With people living longer and the population growing it has become more and more important to invest in a pension scheme. The government provide people with a basic State Pension but this type of pension cannot, in general, be relied upon to provide people with all the income they need to live comfortably when they are no longer working. Although state pension rates do increase annually, as they are reviewed by government they do not always reflect inflation and the increase in general living costs, so people should look into making arrangements to ensure they are provided for in later life.

Pensions can be a scary prospect as there are a number of types to choose from and a number of schemes run within each type. There are now a host of companies that are able to offer impartial advice for people looking to find the right pension for them and they can also help people to work out what kind of contributions a person would need to make into that scheme to carry on living to the standard that they are used to.

Identifying the Right Pension

Many people overestimate what they will receive from a pension so it is important to plan ahead and understand the scheme they have entered into and what benefits it provides. Many people will give little or no thought to the type of pension that they enter, often becoming a member of the first pension that is offered to them through an employer. This leaves them believing that they have a pension so will be financially secure for the rest of their lives. This is often not the case and people should really do their research before entering a scheme to make sure that it suits all of their needs and gives them the type of benefits that they are looking for.

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There are four main types of pension if the State Pension is not included and some of these are only suitable for a selection of the population. People who are employed often have the option of joining a company pension scheme and this has proved to be a popular option, with around half of the population being in one of these schemes. Company pension schemes can vary wildly as retirement ages can range from between fifty five and sixty five and in some employees can take a lump sum up on retirement while others cannot. A final salary pension scheme is often seen as the best company pension to invest in, but these are becoming few and far between as they are expensive to run. People can also look into having a stakeholder or private pension and there is a huge choice of schemes that can be entered into. They offer varying benefits depending on which scheme is chosen. This type of pension tends to be a favourite with those who are self-employed as it provides them with the chance to save for retirement.

It is often easier and advisable to speak to a pensions advisor when looking to invest in any pension scheme as they will be able to advise on the right pension to suit the person's circumstances. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that the younger a person is when they start a pension, the more of a fund they will build up. This is especially important these days as the state pension will almost certainly not provide the living standards they will want when they retire.

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