A common enquiry over the last few years is a request for us to ‘sign a form’ to cash in or transfer a pension in its entirety into a bank account.
Often, we are contacted by people who simply do not understand that there are often better ways of taking pension. Whether it be using ‘guarantees’ associated with their pension that they were not aware or exploring options such as buying an annuity or flexible drawdown.
Whilst it may appear like the easy option of cashing in your pension, you have to consider that a full encashment will often mean a large ‘emergency tax’ bill of at least 20% of the fund value (after tax free cash). Often the cashed in pension will sit in a bank account earning little or no interest. Not to mention the ‘opportunity cost’ of reducing the figure that gains interest by 20% paid out in tax.
If your pension is in a ‘pot’ which is invested on the stock market, it usually means it can be switched into a ‘Flexible Access’ or ‘Drawdown Pension’. This means that the pension becomes flexible, meaning it can provide an income, or lump sum, or both. It is also accessible for the term of the pension and doesn’t tie money up like an annuity.
It is always recommended that at the point of retirement, it is worth speaking to a good independent financial advisor about your options.