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Over fifty? Now’s the time to find out about your pension for free

 

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest is celebrating two years of the Pension Wise guidance service by asking over 50s to book a free appointment about their pension options.

The average age of people in Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering getting help with their pension is 61 despite free guidance being available for anyone over 50, reveals the Pension Wise team at Citizens Advice Waltham Forest

It can add up to a rush at the last minute and Pension Wise is encouraging people to get smart about their pension as early as they can.

As the Pension Wise service reaches its second anniversary, Citizens Advice Waltham Forest says it’s never too early to start planning for your retirement and is encouraging locals 50 and over with a defined contribution pension to book a free guidance session.

In April 2015, rules around pensions changed and for the first time, people were able to decide whether they buy an annuity, cash in their whole pension pot, take a lump sum, or a mixture of these options.

Suna Panayiotou, CEO at Citizens Advice Waltham Forest said:

“Now is the time to find out about your future. Pensions can be worrying things but we are here to help you and explain your options.

“For many 50 year olds retirement may seem a long way off but it’s a good time to start understanding how your pension could support your plans for the future.

“The pension freedoms have given people a lot of options they might not be aware of or fully understand, such as cashing in part of their pension. A Pension Wise guidance specialist can talk you through options and get you on the right track towards a financially secure retirement.”

To book a face to face or telephone Pension Wise appointment, call 0800 138 8292.

What to prepare to get the most out of your Pension Wise appointment:

  1. First, work out the value of your pension pots. You can look at your most recent statement, or contact your provider.
  2. Check if there are any restrictions on your pension, such as penalties for taking it early.
  3. Get a state pension forecast – you can find out how to do this from https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
  4. Gather information on any benefits you receive as any pension decision you make could affect these.
  5. Work out your likely living expenses, including the cost of essentials like housing and utilities, and leisure activities. This should help you come up with a rough budget, which you can compare to your potential pension income.

Bring the information to your Pension Wise appointment. Your guidance specialist will help you think through your circumstances, and present the options available to you.