We specialise in the pension and annuity markets.  Matters including potential tax implications, health issues and overall client circumstances need to be addressed when selecting a pension plan or annuity.  In addition, there are numerous pension plans available on the market, each with their own rules and regulations, therefore it’s difficult to know where to start.

At Lewis Harmer Financial Planning Services, we understand the complexities of this process and want to make your life as easy as possible.

The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise.

Planning for Retirement

We undertake a detailed pension analysis review, to understand your needs and circumstances.  This includes a review of the charging structures applied to your current pension provision.  It may be the case that you have pensions which are not performing well, or they no longer meet your requirements.  It could be the case that you are approaching retirement, and require guidance as to the options available.

Following on from the review process, we will approach your current personal pension providers, and will request details of your existing personal pension provisions.  Once we are in possession of all relevant information, we will be in a position to undertake a comprehensive review using specialist software, to establish whether you could achieve a higher pension income elsewhere.  We will provide you with a Personal Pension Transfer Information report, which illustrates the expected fund values and pension at your chosen retirement age for each of your existing providers.

If we don’t think that you will be better off by transferring, we will recommend that you stay with your existing provider. However, if we can find a better deal for you, we will recommend a transfer accordingly.  The majority of our clients have been better off by transferring their funds to new providers.  In particular, it is surprising to see just how much charges differ between the various pension providers, therefore it’s highly beneficial to instruct us to undertake this review on your behalf.

For transfers involving occupational pensions, we act as introducers only.  This means that your occupational pension scheme would be reviewed by occupation pension specialists with whom we have very close links.  

At Retirement

Purchasing an annuity (pension income) is one of the most important decisions of your life.  Once purchased, annuities cannot be changed in any way, nor switched to different providers – there’s no going back!  It is therefore crucial to purchase the right product at the right price and from the right provider.

There are various things to consider when looking at retirement options.  Features can be added to annuities, which may mean that an enhanced or impaired life annuity may be available for that person. You could qualify for an enhanced annuity, in particular if you smoke or ever smoked, take or have ever taken prescription medicine, or if you have ever been hospitalised for a medical condition.

An impaired life annuity takes into account a person’s medical condition. If perceived life expectancy is shortened due to ill health, obesity or smoking, then that person may receive a higher monthly income. Once the level of income has been determined, it will continue to be paid at that level, irrespective of how long the person actually survives.

At Lewis Harmer Financial Planning Services, we discuss your specific requirements before researching and analysing the market in order to obtain the highest available annuity for you, which will provide you with the best level of income during your retirement. 

Open Market Option – allows you to shop around

Many people take an annuity with their existing pension provider and this can mean they are missing out on potentially thousands of pounds in lost income. The Open Market Option allows you to shop around for the best annuity rates, which may lead to more income than that offered by your current provider.  It applies to both employer money purchase schemes and personal pensions, and allows you to personalise the income to your needs by adding on extra features.