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Guide to Retirement Planning

Frequently Asked Questions about Retirement Planning?

Here are some frequently asked questions about retirement planning which may also assist:

Retirement Planning FAQ How old do I have to be to start planning for my retirement?

There is no age limit for starting your retirement plan, it's never too early, there are huge advantages to starting to plan your retirement finances as soon as you enter the work force, even if it's just being aware of your state pension. As you get older it becomes more important to prepare retirement budgets to make sure the savings and investments you have in place will provide enough income to meet your needs in retirement, and if they won't provide enough income, taking steps to increase your retirement income. Even if you are close to retirement it always pays to revisit your options and check if there are any new or alternative schemes you can use to increase your retirement income and improve your retirement lifestyle.

Retirement Planning FAQWhat do I do if I want to retire overseas?

If you are considering retiring overseas, apart from ensuring you have up to date passports and visas, there are several things you'll need to look into, such as the effects on your finances, health and lifestyle. The UK Government website provides assistance with retiring abroad including drawing a state pension overseas, tax and benefit implications. Depending on the country you choose and the length of time you intend to live there each year, your state pension may or may not increase annually as they do in the UK. If you retire within the European Economic Area (EEA) or to a country that has a social security arrangement with the UK your state pension will receive yearly increases and you may continue to draw on some UK benefits. You'll also need to find out what the costs and tax implications will be to transfer any private or employer pensions overseas. Research what your health and welfare options and rights are in your chosen country - will you need to take out health insurance? Other things to consider are, will you be keeping a property in the UK and abroad, will it be rented while you're not there? Will you want to take your car, or motor home or boat to your new country? What will happen to your pets? It's important to take the time to find out exactly what retiring overseas means before you commit to it.

Retirement Planning FAQWhat does it mean when a pension is 'frozen'?

The term 'frozen' can refer to an an occupational pension scheme where pensions owned by employees who no longer work for the sponsoring employer are 'frozen' until retirement age. Frequently, if the amounts are small, the member and the scheme administrators lose touch with each other, and as a result the pension is never claimed. The term 'frozen' can also relate to state pensions where the UK Government can 'freeze' state pensions for pensioners who live in certain overseas countries. Not all countries are included in the "frozen" list, most Commonwealth countries are included in the frozen list, and some non-Commonwealth, non-European countries. Countries on the list mean UK pensioners get the same indexation as pensioners resident in Britain. All British State pensioners receive their pension based on the level of their compulsory contributions to the National Insurance Fund, and as payments are made within the UK they are all at the same level. However, if the beneficiary moves abroad, their level of pension is dependent on where they live.

Retirement Planning FAQHow are my pensions affected if I retire early?

You cannot claim your state pension until you reach state retirement age, but most personal and employer pensions can be drawn from the age of 55 years or even earlier if your pension has been transferred overseas.

Retirement Planning FAQ What state benefits become available to me when I retire?

In addition to the Basic and Additional state pension, under current legislation you may be entitled to one or more of the following state benefits, some of which are age dependent and some income dependent, when you retire:

  • Over 80 pension
  • Pension credit
  • Winter fuel payment
  • Cold weather payment
  • Warm front grant for heating improvements to your home
  • Attendance Allowance for home help costs if you are disabled or ill
  • Carers Allowance if you look after someone who is severely disabled
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Funeral Payment
  • Community Care Grants and Budgeting Loans
  • Crisis Loans
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Free Bus Travel
  • Free Eye Tests, prescriptions and help with other health costs
  • TV Licence reduction fee
  • War Widow's/Widower's pension
  • Tax Free Personal tax allowance
  • Married Couple's tax allowance


PDF Guide Download the Retirement Planning PDF Guide here - see our other free PDF guides here

Guide Contents

What is retirement planning?
Why do I need to think about retirement?
What types of things do I need to plan for my retirement?
Who can help me with my retirement plan?
Where can I go to get more help?

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