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Expert Pension Advice

We’re here to listen – and then advise

Proper retirement planning has to take into account all of your life circumstances – good and bad.

We listen to you - and then we advise 

A good retirement plan must take into account family, health and anything else that might affect your retirement needs and ambitions. It is naive to think that you only need to think about your financial circumstances, as other factors can make a significant impact on your objectives.

Sadly, people are often reluctant to open up about the difficult things in their lives. It's human nature that people want to share the good news in their lives by shouting it from the rooftops, but want to keep the bad news firmly under wraps. That's natural, but it can be harmful when it comes to talking to your Independent Financial Adviser.

Michael Bradshaw came to us at the age of 54, to explore the possibility of early retirement. We discussed his situation for about 45 minutes, in which Michael confided in us that he wanted to retire so that he could help his wife, Gaynor, care for their disabled daughter, Jane. It was a sensitive situation, but we needed to gather all the relevant facts. Michael was open and honest and, sadly, revealed that Jane would never become independent.

This news meant the conversation took a wholly different course. We talked through wills and, with great care, what would happen to Jane if her parents were to pass away. Without us examining them, Michael instantly knew that his wills were out of date and not fit for purpose. He wasn't comfortable with the guardians, and many of the other provisions had been overtaken by events, meaning they were no longer appropriate.

''We also explained to him a Disabled Person’s Trust, which has special tax treatment.''

We explained to Michael a Disabled Person’s Trust, sometimes called a Vulnerable Beneficiary Trust. It has special tax treatment and can be set up in a person’s lifetime, or in their will. This would give Michael and Gaynor the reassurance that, in the event of their deaths, Jane would be left inheriting money but without the ability to make decisions for herself.

We referred Michael to a specialist so that he could start making provisions. He is in now the process of drawing up new wills and setting up a Disabled Person’s Trust, both of which can be done for a cost of between £500 and £1,000. Once he has done this, Michael can renew the conversation with us about his retirement plans.

We explained a Disabled Person's Trust to Michael and Gaynor

When he first came to see us, we started chatting about his retirement. However, that doesn't mean that it was the most important thing for him - the crucial element for him was to get his will in order and then deal with retirement planning. This only came about by Reeves caring for their clients, wanting to help in any way possible and through the most important tool available - talking.

People don't want to deal with too many things all at one time. You can become flustered, feel snowed under and, ultimately, end pushing it all away, so you don't feel pressured. That's why it's essential to work out what is, to you, the most important thing that you need to deal with. Once you have that under control and worked out, other things will start falling into place - and then you can begin to sort out your retirement.

Had Michael not altered his will, it would have been invalid if he had died - placing the onus on the state or the local authority to look after Jane. He is far happier having wills in place and having conversations with people about being Jane’s guardian. He now knows that his and Gaynor’s wishes will be followed through. 

Don't keep your cards too close to your chest, don't bury your head in the sand. We will never judge anyone, and there is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Some conversations are difficult, and you may not want to have them. But, in the long-run, it really helps to talk. We're accustomed to having a lot of difficult conversations with clients and we can help – once we know the full story.

For a free initial review of your financial situation and to see how we could help you, click the button below

Names have been changed to protect identity. These articles are for information only and are based on specific client circumstances which may be different to yours. No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.

Companies encourage transfers out of pensions – Reeves can help you make sense of it all

Barnett Waddingham, the pension consultants, have conducted some interesting analysis.

Companies are trying to get their employees to swap traditional retirement incomes for a lump-sum

Roughly one tenth of big listed companies have sought to coax their employees, past and present, to shift out of traditional pension schemes over the past five years.  

That's according to analysis conducted by pension consultants Barnett Waddingham. The study, released last week, revealed that these 'transfer exercises' have been offered by roughly 10% of schemes sponsored by FTSE 350 companies - diminishing their pension deficits by as much as £2.5bn. 

Such exercises can be contentious, as they encourage members to swap guaranteed retirement incomes, for life, for a lump-sum. Of course, they can be justified where members have other generous pension arrangements or short life expectancy.

Due to rock-bottom gilt yields, pension transfer values have soared. Participants of customary final-salary-style schemes can be offered lump-sums of 30 times their pledged retirement income or more. Some employers have offered supplementary perks, including top-ups of as much as 20%.

''About 20-30% of pension fund members aged over 55 were taking up transfer offers.''

Employers enjoy transfer exercises, because they slash the ambiguity of long-term liabilities and speed them up to the point where, they can contemplate an insurance company buyout, passing over the complete assets and liabilities of their scheme to a life company for an arranged upfront fee.

Earlier this month, Barnett Waddingham revealed that roughly 20 to 30% of pension fund managers, aged over 55, were taking up transfer offers. The take-up rate was far lower for those under-55, who can't gain access to their pensions instantly.

The calculations were estimates only, based on analysis of spikes in total benefit payments, made by FTSE 350 companies. These climbed, in aggregate, from £20 billion to £25 billion a year from 2012-14, to as high as £42 billion in 2017. That's before dipping to £38.5 billion in 2018.

There's much to ponder - but Reeves can help you

It may all seem a bit confusing, between what you should and shouldn't do, between what's right and what's wrong. That's where professional advice can be of great value to you - and that's where Reeves Independent can help.

Reeves Independent is a FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated company, with over 20 years’ worth of experience in offering expert financial and retirement advice. We will determine your attitude to risk, in order to see what you're comfortable with, in regards to your investments. Thereafter, we will assess all the options available to you. From there, we will work with you, in order to help you achieve a sizeable pension pot - with the aim of enabling you to realise your retirement goals. Reeves will aid you in this via smart and confident investment. Furthermore, we'll communicate with you on a regular basis to let you know our recommended course of action for you, as well as to let you know how your investments are performing. 

We see our relationship with clients as being closer to friendship. We are not here to make a quick penny - if we believe something isn't right, we will tell you so. What we want is to help our clients achieve the best possible retirement. Clients work hard in their careers and we feel they deserve the best retirement they can get. That's why we’re here; to help you get the most out of your pension and to help you achieve the best retirement possible.

Reeves Independent offer a free financial review of your pension situation. Click the button below to get started.

Taken from an article in The Times by Patrick Hosking on 14th October. These articles are for information only. No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.

Annuity rates now at 25-year low

Buying a retirement income is at its most expensive in 25 years - but Reeves can help

Is the FTSE100 about to crash?

The rate has plummeted to a record low

As they reach retirement age, many people use the money built up in their defined-contribution pots to buy an annuity. According to data released by the Financial Conduct Authority data last month, 70,000 annuities are still being bought each year. This is despite their popularity have fallen due to pension freedom reforms. Annuity rates - which reflect the guaranteed annual income for life that can be bought with a lump-sum - have plunged to a modern-day low, said Moneyfacts - the financial information group - in September. 

Insurers back their annuity promises by buying UK government bonds or gilts.  Their price has rocketed in recent months as investors regard them as a safe haven. Yields, which move inversely, have plunged.  The yield on a benchmark ten-year gilt slumped to 0.367 per cent at the height of the parliamentary upheaval last week.  Since no-deal was ruled out, it has rallied to 0.645 per cent.

''Moneyfacts said that the present annuity rate is at its lowest since its records began in 1994 – just 4.1 per cent - but Reeves Independent can help you make sense of it all.''

A person aged 65 can now expect to receive an income for life of £410 a year for every £10,000 handed to an annuity provider, depending on annuity shape chosen. That compares with a £468 income achievable on January 1. Just before the financial crisis of 2008, the typical annuity income from £10,000 was about £600 to £700 and in the 1990s it was £900 to £1,100.

While it's looking like a tough situation, it's important to take stock of it all. That's where Reeves Independent can help. We are experts in financial & retirement planning, with a superb investment team who are continually reviewing market conditions. We determine your attitude to risk and present you with all the options available to you, before investing in regulated products which we believe will get you the best returns. We will thoroughly discuss the best course of action for you, answer any questions you might have and help to alleviate any concerns you may hold. So, while annuity rates may have gradually slumped to a new low, we will discuss this and other choices that can help you meet your objectives, 

Moneyfacts said that the present annuity rate is at its lowest since its records began in 1994 – just 4.1 per cent. The previous low point of 4.15 per cent was recorded in September 2016, when gilt yields plunged after the Brexit referendum result.

Reeves Independent are here to get you through tough periods in order to secure a bright and sustainable future for you and your family. 

Reeves Independent offer a completely free initial review of your pension situation. Click the button below to get started.  

These articles are for information only and are based on specific client circumstances which may be different to yours. No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.

Low interest rates are killing chances of a decent income in retirement

Some believe that rates are at their lowest for more than 25 years - but Reeves can help

Low interest rates are making it hard

Last month it was reported that annuity rates had plummeted to a 25-year low – however, some believe that interest rates are at their lowest for a much longer time than that. In the 1990s, £100,000 would have bought a 65-year-old an income for life of about £10,000 a year- today it will buy little more than £4,000 a year.

It’s worse than that - those are not inflation-protected annuities. If you want an income that will maintain its value over time, then that £100,000 will buy you an income of somewhat less than £3,000 a year. Essentially, you’ll spend your career scrimping and saving, worrying about the future. To get together a seemingly large pension pot of £500,000, and what you'd currently receive is a pension of less than £15,000 a year.

Lower interest rates have driven the most recent decline. It is also the reason behind the long-term decline, impacted further by the financial crisis in 2008. 

The consequences of this shift, though, are far more fundamental to our system of pension saving than either government or those of us desperately trying to save for our old age seem to appreciate.

It's going to be harder for younger people to save in the future

With traditional salary-related occupational schemes becoming scarce outside of the public sector, most of us don’t have a great chance in replicating the comfortable incomes enjoyed by many of today’s retirees.

Astonishing as it may be, the fact is most pensioners today are financially better off than they were during much of their working life. Once you take account of housing costs and the costs of bringing up children, they have a higher disposable income in their late sixties than they had when they were in their forties.  Today’s 40-year-old's should not look at their parents’ generation and expect anything remotely similar.

These low interest rates have had an even more fundamental effect on our system of private pension provision, though.  

''Despite these tough times, Reeves Independent can help you.''

Of course, at first glance, it makes for grim reading. However, it may not be as bad as it seems. Reeves Independent are experienced financial and retirement advisers. Yes, the facts above are true. But that doesn't mean you can't have a healthy retirement income.

The era of many retiring in their early sixties on a sizeable pension, possibly, will soon be over. In the future, due in part to these low-interest rates, you may have to work beyond 70.

However, no one can predict what the case will be. At Reeves Independent, we don't work on assumptions. We work on tried-and-tested research methods, industry leading communication and recommending regulated products and funds that we believe can get the best potential returns for you. We firmly believe that through proper monitoring and analysis of market movements and trend analysis we can make the right recommendations to yield a better return from your investments.

Through smart decision making and sound recommendations we believe we can set attainable, realistic goals for you - and that you can potentially retire well before 70.

Reeves Independent work hard to make sure we can get the best results for your portfolio.

To start your free initial review of your pension situation, click the button below.

This article was taken from The Times, written by Paul Johnson - Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. These articles are for information only and are based on specific client circumstances which may be different to yours. No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.

Pension funds face working in new climate

New legislation means you could be caught out - but Reeves Independent can help

Reeves can help with new pension rules

New rules introduced this month require trustees to consider climate change and other environmental & social factors when making investment decisions.

Sir Steve Webb, the former pensions minister, said that trustees ultimately could be opening themselves up to the risk of being fined or banned for non-compliance. They may also face legal challenges from pension fund members.

New rules from the Department for Work and Pensions came into force on October 1st for all defined-contribution schemes with more than 100 members. The regime will be extended to traditional defined-benefit schemes next year.

Trustees will have to set out in writing how they are taking environmental, social and governance – ESG - factors seriously when they invest members’ money.  In addition, they will have to explain whether they consider other non-financial factors, such as their members’ ethical and moral views.

Trustees who don’t take the new regulations seriously could come under the scrutiny of The Pensions Regulator, according to a joint report from Sir Steve’s employer, Royal London, and Herbert Smith Freehills, the legal firm.

“The big schemes with professional advisers will be all over this,” Sir Steve said, “but I think it is very likely that some smaller schemes won’t have even started to think about it.”

''Reeves Independent can help you with any changes to help you avoid any potential pitfalls.''

Reeves Independent are very aware of the new regulations and are already working to notify clients. Whilst it may not seem the biggest of news, it’s very important that we communicate this with our clients so that they are aware and can avoid any potential banana skins.  

Samantha Brown, head of pensions at Herbert Smith, said: “ESG is no longer an optional extra for trustees, pension providers and asset managers. It’s essential that they are able to demonstrate that they are taking it seriously and that they don’t just treat this as a tick box exercise.”

At Reeves Independent we leave absolutely nothing to chance. That means making sure we keep tracking the markets, capitalising on movements and avoiding any potential dangers. It also means making sure that we follow trends, news and the latest regulations to ensure our clients are kept in the loop and their investments & pensions are performing strongly. 

Royal London said that, on balance, the academic evidence suggested that companies with strong ESG performances generated higher investment returns with less volatility.

ESG investing has changed from a generation ago when, polluters and those who showed little care for the environment, were screened out of investment portfolios. Nowadays, fund managers are more likely to engage with managements in an attempt to pressure them into polluting less. Such investing has been criticised by some sceptics as ‘greenwashing’ — giving the impression of changing behaviour while investing in the same way as before.

Whilst this may be the case, Reeves Independent are committed to honesty, fairness and helping the community & environment. We will try to instil our methods into all our dealings. With this in mind, you will receive a service from honourable pension specialists. We can help you navigate any tricky situations that may arise for a smooth, bright and sustainable future.

Sources: information is obtained from a range of sources including seminars, webinars, industry publications and general media comments.

Disclaimer:  This document is not intended as advice and no investment decisions should be made solely on the back of this email.  Past performance is no guide to the future.  All investments carry the risk that you will not get back what you have put in.