magazine archive


magazine archive

Ask Tom

‘Is it illegal to recycle pension money to get extra tax relief?’

Thursday 01 Aug 2019

I’ve heard that it’s possible to fall foul of HMRC’s pension recycling rules; can you explain the pitfalls and how to avoid them please? Dean HMRC has rules in place to stop pension savers getting ‘double bubble’ on their pension tax relief. As you say, this concept is referred to by the taxman as...

‘How can I access pension money and still save into the pot?’

Thursday 25 Jul 2019

My wife is 62 and has a small SIPP of around £32,500 in total and no other pension (of her own). We have other savings in ISAs we want to keep there and a large SIPP of mine we cannot access until I am 55. We would like to access some of her pension (the tax-free element and around £7,500 to take...

When will I receive the state pension?

Thursday 11 Jul 2019

I celebrated my 61st birthday in June and I’m starting to think about when I’ll retire. I’ve got my private pensions sorted but I’m struggling to figure out when I’ll get my state pension. Is there a chance the date will change? The thought of a moving target is pretty unnerving. Any help you can...

'How can I arrange my pensions to fund a country living dream?'

Thursday 04 Jul 2019

I’m 53 and semi-retired, currently working part-time shifts as a paramedic. I’d like to retire to the country in 10 years’ time with my wife but need to work out what to do with my pensions first. I have £150,000 in a policy which I took out in 1991 and which matures in 2021, when I’m 55. I also...

‘How can the self-employed boost their retirement savings?’

Thursday 27 Jun 2019

I read a lot about the savings options for people in work (auto-enrolment, etc) but little about the alternatives for self-employed people like me. Given I miss out on matched employer contributions is there anything I can do to boost my retirement savings? Martin Tom Selby, AJ Bell Senior Analyst...

‘I have a tricky lifetime allowance situation’

Thursday 13 Jun 2019

I have enjoyed a substantial defined benefit pension since retiring in 2002. My initial annual pension was £125,000 and it has seen 5% annual increases since then. I also have an uncrystallised SIPP now valued at about £270,000. How will my lifetime allowance be calculated and will my SIPP have a...

‘When will pensions dashboards launch?’

Thursday 06 Jun 2019

For a while I read a lot about pensions dashboards and how they were going to make my life easier. I have had 10 employers during my career and saved in a pension with most of them (a mixture of defined benefit and defined contribution). I’m now 63 and starting to think about winding down to...

‘How do I top up my pension and help my son buy a house?’

Thursday 30 May 2019

I’m a 55-year-old planning to sell my house in North London to pursue my dream of living by the sea (most likely in Bournemouth or Brighton). I plan to do this in the next couple of years and want to get my pensions in order before I move. I’ve got decent-sized pensions from my last two jobs but I...

‘Can you help with lifetime allowance calculation?’

Thursday 23 May 2019

I’m 56 and have a defined benefit pension which will pay approximately £32,000 per year at age 60 and I also have a SIPP (present value around £200,000). I’m interested in the lifetime allowance calculation; particularly the test at age 75. Is the defined benefit pension (which increases at 5% per...

‘Can you explain how flexi-access drawdown works?’

Thursday 16 May 2019

I understand I can take 25% of my SIPP as a tax-free pension commencement lump sum (I have no scheme specific protection in excess of 25%). If I chose a flexi-access drawdown option, does the PCLS have to be taken as one payment before any of the remaining 75% potentially taxable pension is...

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