You are here: Home - Retirement - Retirement planning - How to -

Ten top tips to make the most of pension freedoms

Written by: Julie Hutchison, personal finance expert at Standard Life
From passing on your pension to loved ones, to making the most of tax relief, Standard Life outlines ten tips for people planning for retirement in the new world of pensions freedoms, which came into force on 6 April 2015.


  1. Get a clear picture of what pensions you have – many people lose track of old pensions from previous jobs, especially after moving house. Use the free Government service to track down your money:
  2. If you have various pensions from former jobs, think about whether you want to ‘tidy-up’ your pensions – there could be benefits in bringing them together in one pot so it’s easier to keep an eye on what they’re worth and how they’re invested. This might not be suitable for everyone.
  3. Check if you are making the most of your workplace pension – your employer might match some of what you pay in.  See if you could afford a bit extra each month, to give yourself a better opportunity to build a large pension pot.  Remember that for every £80 you pay in, normally it gets topped up with £20 in tax relief.
  4. Make sure your Beneficiary Nomination is up to date – the new changes mean it’s easier to pass on your pensions to loved ones.  Your pension company will look at your Beneficiary Nomination when deciding who to pay your savings to, and your will usually isn’t relevant.  Keep your Beneficiary Nomination up to date by requesting a form from your pension company, or you might be able to do this online.
  5. Talk to your family – with the new flexible rules about inheritance to bear in mind, you may want to work through these decisions together.
  6. Check how your pension savings are invested.  You might have selected the funds years ago, and they may no longer reflect your wishes today.  Or perhaps you are in a ‘default’ fund, one which was automatically selected for you at the beginning.  Either way, have a look and see if the funds suit you.  If you’re not sure, speak to an expert.
  7. If you’re approaching retirement and have ISA or other savings, you may want to review these and consider moving your savings into your pension in order to make the most of tax relief – this won’t suit everyone, but is worth considering.
  8. Be aware of scams – the new flexibilities also give more opportunities for scammers. So remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  9. If you already have a financial adviser, consider reviewing your retirement plans with them in light of the new rules. If you don’t, you may want to consider whether you would benefit from advice.
  10. Think ahead about how you might want to access your savings in retirement – you’ll have a choice of accessing cash, keeping your savings invested, drawing a flexible income, buying a fixed income or some combination of these – you’ll feel more confident making your final decision if you’ve spent time thinking about what’s right for you in advance.  There’s lots of information available online which can help, including the Government’s Pension Wise website.

Related Posts

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Government hauled to court over self-employment grant discrimination claim

The chancellor is due to appear at the High Court this Thursday over claims the government discriminated again...
Government hauled to court over self-employment grant discrimination claim

Driving instructors can’t pass learners unable to book test in lockdown

The government confirms it will not lay legislation to allow driving instructors to pass learner drivers who a...
Driving instructors can’t pass learners unable to book test in lockdown

Millions of self-employed face double tax bill this January

Sole traders still due to pay their deferred 2019/2020 self-assessment payment in July face a double tax bill...
Millions of self-employed face double tax bill this January

Ryanair jetting towards US flights for £10

Ryanair is on course to achieve its long-held ambition of offering transatlantic flights to the US – and the...

Investing in car parks: a good vehicle for income seekers?

As the search for income continues, many investors are turning to alternatives, with car parks becoming increa...

A quick guide to guarantor loans – in association with Guarantor Loan Comparison

Considering a guarantor loan or becoming a guarantor yourself? Read our essential guide...

Results round-up: Companies to watch this week

Mulberry and more will face the music this week.

Product launches of the week

Select Property Group, Schroders, Leeds Building Society and more have exciting news this week.

Money Tips of the Week

Privacy Preference Center





Read previous post:
Londoners renting out homes on AirBnB freed from ‘outdated’ planning permission rules

New measures mean Londoners can now rent out their homes via sites such as AirBnB without applying for planning permission.