Pension Unlocking

I keep hearing about people needing cash now, needing to purchase something now.. there is of course, if you are over 50 and have funds tied up in a pension scheme to which you no longer contribute, the option of Pension Release.

I have had many arguments in the past about instant gratification and all that. We live, no doubt in an increasingly consumerist society where most people are not happy to wait for anything. Previous generations used to save up for a holiday, save up for a car, or save up for a deposit on a flat, often making great sacrifices in order to do so. Nowadays we put it on a credit card, or, in the case of a mortgage, look for a 100% or even 110% loan to get us on our way.

These changes in spending patterns highlight a change in the psyche of the nation. There are several factors which have some to play in creating this environment :

  • There has been an increasing dumbing down in the media, it would be impossible to argue that the quality of products has not diminished markedly over the last 20-30 years.
  • American / Western Consumer Culture has had a large affect on the advertising culture in Great Britain, adverts per viewing time ratio has increased and upgrade culture is encouraged. Nowadays we are engendered with the illogical feeling that old is no good. We are so bombarded with out with the old and in with the new that we fall for this consumerist trick. Many people now look upon their High Quality (CRT) Televisions as if they are some sort of anachronism in the home, Surely you should have a LCD/ Plasma Screen? Why? Why also do we look upon an extravagantly purchased mobile phone as
  • We have been ( though current economic climate may not support this for much longer) offered outstanding incentives to get into debt. The continual nationwide increase in house prices has put so many people into an apparently powerful financial situation that they have been able to borrow heavily on the equity and get into large debts. The offers of interest free credit cards has led more and more people into the buy now, pay later culture.

More recently the economy has been hit with some worrying trends. The US subprime market has taken a battering and there have been repercussions on this side of the Atlantic also. Interest rates have wavered, putting less disposable cash in the pocket of the average man or woman. There has been the spectacular crash of Northern Rock in the UK and incremental interest rates have been the norm throughout the last year. It is reported that many lenders are imposing far stricter criteria on any new loan applications and that credit card companies are even reducing some people’s credit limits.

It is not surprising, then, in this financial climate that many people are feeling the pinch and wanting to realise any assets available. For UK residents over the age of 50 there is the opportunity to release funds from private pension schemes – a process often referred to as Pension Release from unused pension schemes before the natural maturation date of the policy. If you are interested in pursuing this avenue it would always be recommended you speak to a FSA registered company like GroveFP who have a Pension Release website full of information and can help you come to an informed decision.

This pension unlocking may well reduce the total payable to the policy holder in the long run, but, in today’s society who cares, as long as you have the latest edition you are doing OK.

Personal Pension Release

Personal Pension Release is the term given to the process of unlocking or withdrawing funds perviously locked in a Personal Pension Scheme.

The process is open to those over the age of 50 who have either Personal Pension Plans, Stakeholder Pensions or even an “old style” Retirement Annuity Contracts.

Previously it was not possible to release the monies until you were 60, but recent legislation in April 2006 has made it possible to enjoy previously locked up pension schemes at the age of 50.

You can take a maximum cash lump sum, which is tax free, of up to 25% of your pension fund, the balance has to be used to either provide an immediate income or it can be deferred and taken at a later date.

Deferring taking the income was not an option before April 2006 and with a lot of existing pension contracts it is still not allowed. However; there is a way you can achieve this even if your current plan doesn’t allow it.

A benefit of deferring taking the income is that this portion of your pension fund remains invested and accruing interest, which could result in a bigger amount when you decide to take it, although it is conceivable that the fund in which it is invested could also perform poorly and you could end up with less money. Because of the uncertainty there is not always a simple answer and not all people should consider releasing funds from their pension early.

Whether you decide to take income from your pension now or defer taking it until some point in the future, you will also have a choice about how your income is paid. All these choices and options available can seem complicated and confusing, and it is important to make sure you make the right decisions that are going to suit you best.

The Personal Pension Release Website is an information portal on the subject of pension unlocking or pension release and provides an unbiased viewpoint into the process of unlocking funds from personal or private pension schemes with an emphasis on illustrating both the pitfalls and the potential rewards on offer and as a result of careful and sensible financial planning. As it must be remembered that taking funds early may well diminish the amount available at retirement age.

Pension Release

Pension Release is a term applied to the process on unlocking funds from a Pension scheme.

If you are over 50 and have money tied up in a pension to which you no longer contribute it is often a tempting idea to release these funds as you will be able t o make better use of them now.

Pension Release ( or Pension Unlocking) is a financial process by which you can apply for all or part of the funds in the policy.

It should be noted, however, that, often you will end up with less money than you would if you waited until the policy to mature.

A company pension release or personal pension release can offer the funds almost immediatley although you will have less money to live on upon reaching retirement age and policy maturation.

It is, therefor recommended that, if you are interested in pension release you consult with an impartial financial advisor ( FSA accredited ) before making any decisions which could affect your long term financial future.

Pension Release Information

Pension Release is a process available in the UK to those over the age of 50 who have funds locked up in pension schemes which would not normally be available to them until retirement/ maturation of the policy.

Grove FP are an independent financial services company which has been set up to allow anyone considering ‘cashing in their pension’ to have a completely clear picture of the process, the choices available and the considerations which must be taken into account.

This is extremely important as in many cases accessing this money early, quite like withdrawing from a high interest deposit account, can mean that the total sum obtained is considerably less than that which would have been paid upon retirement age.

However, there are many cases where unlocking a pension scheme prior to retirement can make funds available to the policy holder’s benefit; thus allowing one to make use of the money immediately for a special purpose or occasion. Certainly having money locked up and seemingly inaccessible in a pension scheme can be a major irritant.

Done properly and with sound financial advice it is possible to take out a lump sum tax free – up to 25% – or to choose to take payment via annuities.