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Retirees could miss out on £236m in tax savings by not taking advice

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People could miss out on £236m in potential tax savings in 2017/18 by failing to take advice when they retire.

In spite of this, there has been relatively low uptake of the government’s advice voucher scheme, according to VouchedFor. Launched in November, the scheme allows employees to sacrifice up to £500 taxable salary per year in return for a tax-free payment from their employer, reimbursing them for any fees paid for pension advice.

Employers and advisers have until April to take advantage of the scheme, which could save people up to £310 per year in tax and National Insurance, depending on their top rate of tax. VouchedFor has a pension advice salary sacrifice voucher scheme under the new rules, called Pension Advice Vouchers.

At the same time, WEALTH at work has launched a telephone-based guidance service to help employees and pension scheme members make decisions on their pensions and lifetime savings.

The group said that there is increasing demand on employers and trustees to support employees and members with the complex financial decisions they face when retiring.

Its UK telephone based helpline is available to those who are approaching retirement. It is designed to help callers understand their options at retirement, including defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes and any other pensions and savings they may have.

Following the call, employees and members will receive a written report of their options, including a pre-retirement checklist of things to consider.

Jonathan Watts-Lay, director, WEALTH at work, said: “Employers and trustees are coming under increasing pressure to support their employees and members in getting good outcomes from their pension savings.

“But without the right help and guidance many could be at significant risk of making costly mistakes such as paying too much tax, or falling prey to devious scams. Financial guidance offers the support employees and members need to help them clarify elements of their financial situation and to gain a deeper level of knowledge around their options.”

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