Making the best decisions
No matter how soon you start, you still need to choose the best savings vehicle(s) available to you.
The Government described occupational pension schemes, like BPAS, as being an excellent means of providing for retirement. However, if you've left it until later in life to join, there have been times when you haven't been saving at all or you want to retire earlier, you still may need to save more.
There are many different ways to save more for your retirement. The scheme’s AVC arrangements are just one. It is therefore, a good idea to consult an Independent Financial Adviser to find out what the best options are for you.
You’ve saved all the hard-earned cash that you can to make the financial aspects of retirement easier so now it’s time to decide how much pension and tax-free cash you want to take.
Contact the Pensions Office for a quotation ideally three months before your intended retirement date. You will receive this quotation along with the option form, which you need to complete to indicate your preference and return. Closer to your retirement date and once the completed option form has been received, BPAS will issue final retirement figures to your institution.
Any cash lump sum chosen will be paid to your bank account on the day you retire or it can be paid by cheque instead. Your pension will be paid on the penultimate working day of the month following your retirement.
If you have paid AVCs you will have some additional choices to make. You will have to choose whether to use your AVC fund as a cash payment or to purchase additional pension.
Change of lifestyle
It is easy to underestimate the change of lifestyle ahead.
Throughout your working life you’ve probably dreamed of having time to do all those things you could never fit in. The reality is that many retired people do not know how to fill the days. It’s important to take up a hobby, find an interest or perhaps do some voluntary work, if you do not currently do so.
Your health is extremely important to your enjoyment of retirement. Whilst there’s nothing any of us can do about the ageing process, scientists strongly believe that exercising both body and mind can help to compensate. Having said that though, there’s no guarantee that you won’t still go in to the kitchen and forget what you’ve gone in for.
Although it’s hard to believe, you may still want to do some form of work in retirement. If this is the case, consider jobs that involve less responsibility and therefore, less stress. Also, consider the tax implications, as you may end up being worse off.