"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it"
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants"
"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend"
- Laertius Diogenes
"The glow of one warm thought is to be worth than money."
"I don't care too much for money for money can't buy me love"
- The Beatles
"Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and it is the only riches we can take out this world with us."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Men
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much"
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"
"I pity that man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth shall starve in the process"
Pension Freedoms Video
In March 2014, the Chancellor of the time, George Osborne announced a major change to the way some people could access their pension when they came to retire.
This change came into effect in the tax year 2015/2016 and is known as Pension Freedom.
This video will explain the change, who it affects, what it means and some of the key things you will need to look out for.
Pension Freedom does NOT apply to all types of pension.
We're only really talking private pensions where you and/or your employer saved up a pot of cash for retirement.
These are known as 'defined contribution' or 'money purchase' pensions.
It doesn't apply to the state pension. Nor in the main part does it apply to pensions where what you're paid is a proportion of your final salary – known technically as 'defined benefit' pensions.
Before the Pension Freedom changes came in, the typical option used by most people was to cash in their pension, take 25% as a tax-free sum and use the remainder of the money to buy an annuity – a product that pays you an income each year until you die.
Now, under the new rules, you can take the pot freely and in a flexible manner, including, if you choose, all the pot in one go.
You should note however that you cannot do anything with the pension in terms of using the freedom rules until you have reached the age of 55.
From that age you can access your pension to help you in retirement. This includes withdrawing all the money in one go.
However, this is rarely a good idea.
First off, the new rules still only allow 25% of the pot to be taken as a tax-free sum. That means should you take all the pot in one go, 75% will be taxed and at your highest rate of income tax.
Secondly, most people’s pensions are to support their income needs in retirement, which could stretch over decades, so stripping all the money out early or in one go could mean not enough money in later retirement.
What the pension freedom rules allow, if you are not going to take all your money in one go, are three basic options:
Option one is to leave it invested in your pension for when you need it. It's important to understand in this case whenever you withdraw sums you get 25% of each lump sum you withdraw tax-free. For example, if you had £100,000 in your pension and took £10,000 out you'd get £2,500 of it tax-free, the rest would be taxed at your income tax rate in the year you make the withdrawal.
Option two is to take 25% tax-free, then buy a flexible income drawdown product. This is a product you buy that keeps the rest invested so it can still hopefully grow, but you can also use it to take income when needed.
The tax here is different, you get the first 25% you withdraw tax-free and then the rest is taxed when you take it – which could be useful if you're likely to be in a lower-tax bracket once you're older.
Option three, which is the same as the main option before Pension Freedom rules were introduced, is to take 25% tax-free, then buy an annuity. This gives you a guaranteed income each year for the rest of your life.
It is worth pointing out that you are not forced to do one thing, you can combine any of these options, and this may be a sensible way to proceed in many cases.
These are the basics. If you are in a position either now or in the future where the pension freedom rules affect you, what do you need to be thinking about?
The first thing to consider is if you do not cash all your pension chips into today and you are not buying an annuity, then your pension, either fully or in part, is going to remain invested.
Therefore, you need to consider where you should invest it, the risk on the money left in the pot and the costs and charges you will incur.
You have many choices with all these factors.
Secondly, you will need to think about how much income you will need and when, what other income sources you have and how you will be best accessing your pension.
This can be a complicated estimate, stretching over many years. In this regard, using a long-term income and expenditure forecast can be very beneficial.
Third, you will need to consider your wider financial position, your health and your future financial risks, such as living for a very long time.
With all these factors we have the experience and expertise to help you and to work through all the factors you will need to consider.
What our Clients say
Alan has the ability to listen and care about people
We first met Alan in 1999; we both wished that we had known him many years before. Alan has several attributes, in addition to his financial skills, the ability to listen and caring about people. From the first day that we met our financial affairs became organised, now to the point where we can say that we never have any financial worries, in fact we seem to be better off financially now more than ever before. All due to Alan's guidance and expertise. We both consider Alan a very good friend, nice to know he would be there if we needed him.
Norman & Peggy Howell, Birmingham
I always receive a fast and efficient response
It has been almost ten years now since David and myself first consulted you for advice and guidance on financial matters, so I feel that it's time that I wrote to thank you for the help and assistance that has always been forthcoming. Shortly after we had moved house in 1992, you advised us to switch from one type of mortgage to another, which turned out to be the most successful financial move we had made in years. Over the years we contacted you for financial advice and guidance when our daughter was heading for University, on taking out life and house assurance policies and general financial overhauls. Your recommendations have always been sound and given in a manner both efficient and friendly, none more so than when I was widowed just over two years ago and needed a considerable amount of help, immediately given upon request and with great sensitivity during what was a very difficult time for me. There is little I can add, except to also thank the rest of your staff, friendly voices at the end of the telephone who take and pass on my enquiries and ensure that I always receive a fast and efficient response. I can recommend, without reservation, Interface Financial Planning Limited.
Maureen Pittaway, Sutton Coldfield
A very special and caring person
Alan - A very special and caring person, who it's been a pleasure to meet - thank you again it's been a privilege and honour, your kindness has been second to none and we know you've helped probably more than you should but I can assure you it was all very much appreciated, more than you know.
Bill & Sue Ralph, Oldbury, West Midlands
Advice that has been invaluable
Alan has been our financial adviser for 5 years. He is professional, well informed and reliable, and his advice has been invaluable to us. He and his staff are courteous and efficient, and we have no hesitation in approaching him for advice on any aspect of our finances, or in recommending him to relatives, friends and colleagues.
Tony & Sue Critchley, Lichfield
Always friendly and considerate
Alan Moran has acted on our behalf for over 10 years. Alan has over this time always listened to our requirements and fed back to us the best options, given our constraints and made very useful alternatives suggestions. He has always been friendly and considerate. I would not now consider making any financial investment or savings decision without first consulting him.
Ian & Joyce Miller, Birmingham
Honest and always takes the time to explain everything thoroughly
Alan has acted as our family Financial Adviser for many years. He is honest, non-pushy and always takes the time to explain everything thoroughly as often as needed. Alan is not only our Financial Adviser but we regard him as our friend. We would have no hesitation in recommending him and his staff to anyone who needs a Financial Adviser they can trust.
Malcolm & Sylvia Smith, Perry Barr, Birmingham
Alan's sound advice has improved my life no end.
I was introduced to Alan Moran in 1999. I was juggling my finances just to keep afloat and was wary of taking outside advice. A close friend of mine recommended Alan as a reliable and honest adviser who would take great care in choosing the right path to get my financial affairs on track. Trusting their judgement, I arranged to meet Alan. I was treated with the utmost care, given time to consider the guidance that Alan provided and never pushed into taking on financial services. Meeting Alan and acting upon his sound advice has improved my life no end. Even on a limited income, prudent planning has enabled me to save for annual holidays and even cope with the occasional unexpected expense as well as keep up to date with all of my bills. I count Alan among my friends and have recommended him to both my sister and my parents. He really is the genuine article and I cannot thank him enough for all he did for me.
Zena Davis, Coventry
Alan's knowledge of financial matters is very comprehensive
Alan was introduced to me by a friend at the time when my finances were a mess and I just didn't know what to do for the best. Calmly, kindly and sympathetically Alan sorted everything out. Since then he and his wonderful team have sorted out my house and car insurances, my son's mortgage and pension plan and, last but not least, guided me through the ramifications of buying a property in Spain. I have recommended him to friends, as his knowledge of financial matters is very comprehensive and sound. Alan is able to offer advice without making the recipient feel a complete idiot and he takes time to explain things thoroughly and in a way that is understandable.
Tricia Adams, Cannock, Staffordshire
Alan's sound advice has improved my life no end.
I have been a client of Alan Moran's for 12 years and during that time he has given me valuable advice on all aspects of finance. He always explains everything thoroughly and has been particularly supportive during periods of crisis in my life. He helped my late husband and I when his business went into liquidation and was even more valuable when my husband died, pointing me in the right direction with my finances and getting me to invest my money sensibly and with the just rewards that I am now experiencing. I regard Alan not only as my Financial Adviser, but also as my friend, and would, and in fact have, recommended Interface Financial Planning Services to anyone needing a Financial Adviser they can trust.
Marian Poolley, Sutton Coldfield
Efficient and reliable in terms of financial decision making
Alan Moran has been our independent financial adviser for a number of years. He has proven to be an efficient and reliable person to guide us in terms of financial decision making with regard to planning and management of current and future economic matters. He is friendly, discreet, careful and always courteous.
Chris & Tony Hampton, Halesowen
Highly professional, friendly and supportive approach
We have been clients of Alan Moran (Interface Financial Planning Ltd) for over five years. In this time, his highly professional, friendly and supportive approach has provided us with a thorough review of all aspects of our finances. We are now in a position where both our short term and long term financial planning is well organised and structured to suit our personal needs. We have recommended Alan and his team to many of our friends and know that they, like us, have been impressed and grateful for the care he has taken to provide such individual service.
Ann & Allan Rowlands, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham
Professional and friendly manner
Just dropping you a line to say thank you for all the help you've provided us throughout the purchase of our house and the investment policies you've recommended us. May we both thank you for the very professional and friendly way, in which you handled our business, and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
John Fletcher & Linda Davis, Bromsgrove
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend
We were recommended to Alan by my brother in law and have been very pleased with his advice and assistance. Since using his services, we have organised our Wills, Pensions and re-jigged our finances, and now would not consider making any financial investment or savings decision without first contacting him! We would have no hesitation in recommending his services to anyone requiring sound independent financial advice.
Richard Salaman & Emma Staples, Surrey
Valuable advice on our mortgage, future planning, savings and pension investments.
Seeking financial advice for the first time, I received details of three local IFAs. However, these cold statistics gave no idea of the actual person to whom I would need to entrust confidential information. Sometime later I came across an article in a local paper by Alan (Moran) in which the writer came over as friendly and trustworthy as well as being a qualified IFA. Having contacted Interface Financial Planning, the result has been a friendly relationship and valuable advice on our mortgage, future planning, savings and pension investments.
Mike & Gloria Nash, Great Barr, Birmingham
I have never had a single financial concern
The best thing financially that I ever did when I contacted Alan. I have never had a single financial concern and he has supported me through difficult times including the death of my dear wife.
Norman Howell, Birmingham
“Don’t put off the planning for your financial future as you are
never aware of what lies around the corner”
We first met Alan in 1999; we both wished that weIt was very important to gain financial advice in such a challenging time after my wife passed away. I needed to ensure that, as a newly single parent, I had got my finances sorted out and had also made provision for my children in case anything happened to me. As neither my wife or myself had made a will, Alan’s advice and guidance through this very difficult period was invaluable, especially dealing with the paperwork associated with this.
Paul from Birmingham
“Alan, was immediately empathetic, encouraging and, above all, practical and straightforward”
I realised that I had been operating both my general and particularly financial affairs reactively for far too long and it was time I behaved like a grown up. So I started to think about how I might achieve some sort of practical stasis. Alan, was immediately empathetic, encouraging a nd, above all, practical and straightforward. I hadn’t consciously taken financial advice before, but came to realise that the various salesmen who had sold me policies and pension upgrades were not motivated in the same way a ‘proper’ financial adviser was (or should be). Consequently, I had taken on commitments that weren’t necessarily in my best interests. Alan is genuinely interested in my circumstances, and owns a readiness to go beyond what I had imagined would be the boundaries of the role.