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Why reviewing your pensions makes sense

Building a decent retirement income isn’t just about saving money. The performance of your pension investments is likely to have a significant impact on your quality of life in retirement too. So, just as you would with any other investment, it makes considerable sense to keep a close eye on your pension funds and take action over any that aren’t making the grade.

Lee Dooley
03 June 2013

One pension is easier to manage than many

As it is common to collect a number of work and personal pensions during adult life, keeping on top of pension investments isn’t always straightforward. In fact, according to research by charity Age UK, one in four people has actually lost track of a pension altogether. A simple solution is to combine your pensions into one. Everybody has the right to move their pensions, it isn’t particularly difficult to do and once they are in one place it will be much easier to establish how well your investments are working for you. This means you will have a much greater chance of achieving the lifestyle you want in retirement*.

With your pension in one place:

  • You can see at a glance the overall size of your pension
  • It will be much easier to work out if you have a good mix of high-quality investments and whether they are performing well
  • You can switch out of poor investments and make the most of those that are performing well
  • You’ll cut back on the paperwork you need to deal with
  • You are likely to reduce costs, which means more of your money will be going towards your future rather than evaporating in fees

We know from experience that people often leave their pensions where they are because they don’t want to take responsibility for managing their own pension investments so it is important to point out that you don’t have to make all your own investment decisions. If you want your pension managed or the support of an adviser when making investment decisions, there are plenty of options available and many of these are extremely cost effective.

How to combine your pensions into one

A great way to create one pension pot is to move your existing pensions into a Self-invested Personal Pension (which is commonly referred to as a SIPP). This is a type of personal pension so you get all the same tax benefits that you would with any other pension. The main difference is that SIPPs give you much greater flexibility in managing your pension and therefore more control over your future

With a SIPP:

  • You gain access to a much wider choice of investments including the same high quality funds that you may already have in an ISA or other type of investment account
  • It’s simple to switch between investments to make sure your pension is always working as hard for you as it should
  • You won’t waste unnecessary money on fees if you choose the right SIPP
  • You’ll benefit from the convenience of having your pension investments together in one place.

*Before you consider transferring a pension, it is important to ask yourself: Will I lose any valuable benefits or features from my existing pension plan? Will I incur any penalties on my existing pension if I transfer? Is it an occupational final salary pension scheme? (in which case it is very unlikely to be advisable to transfer) Have I considered the charges on my current plan? (a new arrangement may be more expensive – especially if you have a stakeholder pension) If you are near retirement or don’t need the additional flexibility of a SIPP it may not be worth considering a transfer at all.

The Best SIPP

We have created our Best SIPP to help you make the most of your retirement savings. It is excellent value for money, gives you access to a huge range of investments as well as some of the best tools on the market for helping you get the most from your pension. For example, you can review existing pension savings using our Free Investment Report (FIRST) tool. This gives you an indication of the costs and performance of your investments and whether you have a good mix. We also have a comprehensive range of material that our award winning research team has put together to help clients make the best investment choices.

We understand that not everybody wants to manage their pensions alone so we offer a number of services to support you. You can choose from a range of ready-made SIPP portfolios containing a selection of our top-rated funds, enlist the support of a highly qualified adviser or opt to have your pension managed by one of our experts.

Next steps

Why not spend five minutes on the phone with one of our friendly pension experts? We have years of experience helping clients make the most of their pensions and can talk to you about the benefits of combining your pensions into one and explain how we can help you. We don’t use jargon or overcomplicate things so we won’t waste your time and if you decide to move to the Best SIPP, we will take care of all the paperwork for you. Call us on020 7189 2400 or email best@bestinvest.co.uk

This guide is not advice to invest or to use our services. SIPPs are not suitable for everyone. If you don’t want to invest across different asset classes or don’t think you will make use of the investment choices that SIPPs give you then a SIPP might not be right for you. Self-directed investors should regularly review their SIPP portfolio, or seek professional advice, to ensure that the underlying investments remain in line with their pension objectives. Prevailing tax rates and the availability of tax reliefs are dependent on your individual circumstances and are subject to change. Please note the term Best is a brand name of the Bestinvest SIPP.