magazine archive


magazine archive

Ask Tom

‘I’m confused about DB pension transfers’

Thursday 07 Feb 2019

Bill from Devon ‘I’m thinking about transferring out of my defined benefit pension scheme but struggling to decide if it’s the right thing to do. I’ve been offered a £230,000 transfer value and have a meeting with an adviser to discuss it. ‘I understand there are risks involved but I’m confident I...

‘Can I boost my state pension via National Insurance credits?’

Thursday 31 Jan 2019

Stephen says: ‘I’m 63 and a little short on what I need for retirement, so looking to boost my income in any way I can. I understand you can increase the value of your state pension by purchasing National Insurance credits – is that correct?’ Tom says: It is possible to boost the value of your...

‘Will I breach the lifetime pensions allowance?’

Thursday 24 Jan 2019

Simon ‘I’m consulting doctor for the NHS based in London. I’ve been in the pension scheme since I started working 30 years ago and am worried about breaching the lifetime allowance. ‘What are the rules and is there anything I can do to protect myself?’ As you’re in a defined benefit (DB) pension...

‘Help: I'm still getting calls despite the pensions cold-calling ban’

Thursday 17 Jan 2019

Barbara from Surrey ‘I read a story saying cold-calling for pensions is now banned, but on the same day I was contacted by someone out of the blue asking about my pension. Does this mean it’s likely to be a legitimate investment?’ Absolutely not. As you rightly say, a long-awaited ban on pensions...

'Will there be a cap on tax-free withdrawals from pensions?'

Thursday 10 Jan 2019

To kick off 2019 we’ve got a bumper edition of ‘Ask Tom’, with resident AJ Bell pensions expert Tom Selby answering three of the questions sent in over the festive period. Question 1 Anonymous My pension closed at age 60 and I transferred what monies were in it (£4,000) into a SIPP. I did not claim...

Can I recycle my pensions to get extra tax-free cash?

Thursday 20 Dec 2018

On the back of my recent article on taking tax-free cash from your pension, we’ve had several questions about exactly how HMRC’s ‘recycling’ rules work. Rather than address all those questions individually we figured it would be simpler to dedicate a few extra column inches to the subject. The...

‘Can I take a lump sum from pension tax-free and keep paying into my pot?’

Thursday 06 Dec 2018

Lindsay, no address given I am approaching retirement (age 62) but still working as a freelance IT contractor. I am thinking of taking my tax-free 25% lump sum from my SIPP early next year, to go towards the purchase of a home for retirement in France. However I may continue working for a year or...

‘Which is better: a Lifetime ISA or a pension?’

Thursday 29 Nov 2018

Greavesy from Beverley: ‘I’ve been thinking about opening a Lifetime ISA but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do. Will I get more compared to a pension? And how does the exit penalty work?’ Any UK resident aged 18-39 is eligible to open a Lifetime ISA and pay in up to £4,000 a year. This...

‘Can I put my stipend in my stakeholder pension?’

Thursday 22 Nov 2018

Dean, address not given ‘I’m a clergyman in a final salary pension scheme. Can I still put my full annual stipend into my stakeholder pension, or is there some notional value placed upon the DB (defined benefit) membership?’ Tom Selby, AJ Bell senior analyst, replies: For those unfamiliar with the...

'How does pension tax relief work?'

Thursday 15 Nov 2018

Alan from Wimbledon Can you explain exactly how pension tax relief works? I’ve seen some stories saying people in ‘net pay’ schemes might not get anything, but others say you get it at your marginal rate – but I’m not really sure what this means! Any help appreciated! Tom Selby, AJ Bell senior...

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