Pension Planning Tools

Taking control of your income at retirement.

With the State Pension continuously falling as a percentage of average earnings, it is more important than ever to consider taking personal control of your finances to provide a comfortable income during your retirement.

Imperial Chartered provides independent financial advice to individuals, trusts and businesses – specialising in pension and retirement planning, investment advice and inheritance tax planning. 

We hold Chartered status (the gold standard for financial planners) and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. We offer independent, whole market advice, meaning we are able to concentrate on providing the best financial solutions to our customers. 

Use our free Pension Calculators below to find out if you are on track for your desired retirement lifestyle.

Pension Planning

We offer complete retirement advice no matter what your circumstances. Our qualified financial advisers can offer professional advice on the following financial services:

What is Pension Consolidation?

Most people, during their career accumulate several different pension plans. Maintaining separate plans can be laborious and complicated and may lead to lost investment opportunities, exposure to undue risk and higher costs.

Not sure how to find an old pension? The government’s free Pension Tracing Service may be able to help. Visit www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension or call 0345 6002 537 for more information.

How can we help?

We can efficiently consolidate all of your pension plans into the most suitable plan that meets your financial goals. 

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Personal Pension?

A personal pension is a type of defined contribution pension. You choose the provider and make arrangements for your contributions to be paid. If you have not got a workplace pension, getting a personal pension could be a good way of saving for retirement.

Your pension pot builds up in line with the contributions you make, investment returns and tax relief.

How can we help?

Imperial offer expert professional advice on personal pensions. Our advice is tailored depending on your personal needs.

We can assist in choosing and setting up your personal pension, no matter what the need our aim is to ensure that your personal pension is working hard for you.

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Defined Benefit (DB) Pension?

A defined benefit/ final salary pension scheme is one where the amount you’re paid is based on how many years you’ve worked for your employer and the salary you have earned. Defined benefit pensions pay out a secure income for life which increases each year.

Your employer contributes to the scheme and is responsible for ensuring there’s enough money at the time you retire to pay your pension income. You can contribute to the scheme too.

They usually continue to pay a pension to your spouse, civil partner or dependants when you die.

Due to the expense of providing these schemes and the uncertainty around Employers liability, they are now largely only available within the public sector.

How can we help?

This is considered to be one of the most complicated and high-risk products to advise on within financial services. We can help explain what your Final Salary Scheme is offering you and if suitable, what alternative retirement solutions may look like.

Our starting point is always to remain in the scheme, which follows the FCA’s stance on these valuable benefits. Advising on these pensions requires firms to hold a specialist permission from the FCA. At Imperial Chartered we have six Pension Transfer Specialist advisers, three of whom are also Chartered Financial Planners – one of whom is a Fellow.

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Group Personal Pension (GPP)?

Group personal pensions are a type of defined contribution pension which some employers offer to their workers. As with other types of defined-contribution scheme, members in a GPP build up a personal pension pot, which they then convert into an income at retirement.

In a group personal pension, the scheme is run by a pension provider that your employer chooses, but your pension is an individual contract between you and the provider.

The provider claims tax relief at the basic rate on your contributions and adds it to your fund. If you are a higher or additional-rate taxpayer, you’ll need to claim the additional rebate through your tax return.

Your pension pot builds up using your contributions, any contributions your employer makes, investment returns and tax relief.

How can we help?

When you retire, your pension provider will usually offer you a retirement income (an annuity) based on your pot size, but you don’t have to take this and it isn’t your only option.

If you’re unsure about your options and how they work, we can advise you on the option that best matches your requirements. 

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Stakeholder Pension?

Stakeholder pensions are a form of defined contribution personal pension. They are tax efficient, have low and flexible minimum contributions, capped charges and a default investment strategy if you don’t want too much choice. Some employers offer them, but you can start one yourself.

Stakeholder pensions must meet minimum standards set by the government.

These include:

  • Limited charges.
  • Charge-free transfers.
  • Flexible contributions.
  • Low minimum contributions.
  • A default investment fund – your money will be invested into this if you don’t want to choose.

How can we help?

With so many options available the entire retirement landscape can be very confusing, especially if you have had several employers. We will listen to your plans and review all the pensions you have built up.

Our financial advisers can then identify opportunities to make your stakeholder pension work harder for you.

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)?

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) is a pension ‘wrapper’ that holds investments until you retire and start to draw a retirement income. It is a type of personal pension and works in a similar way to a standard personal pension. The main difference is that with a SIPP, you have more flexibility with the investments you can choose.

With standard personal pension schemes, your investments are managed for you within the pooled fund you have chosen.

SIPPs are a form of personal pension that gives you the freedom to choose and manage your own investments.

SIPPs are designed for people who want to manage their own fund by dealing with, and switching, their investments when they want to.

However, SIPPs can also have higher charges than other personal pensions or stakeholder pensions.

For these reasons, SIPPs tend to be more suitable for large funds and for people who are experienced in investing.

How can we help?

SIPPs offer far greater investment flexibility than stakeholder pensions or most personal pensions. However, they can be very complex and with complexity comes the associated risks of unusual charging structures, as such they may be difficult to calculate total costs.

We have a wealth of experience in using SIPPs to provide innovative solutions for small businesses and experienced investor. We can analyse your existing holding and advise if a SIPP is right option for you. 

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is a Flexible Access Drawdown?

Drawdown is one of the most flexible ways to access your pension, available from age 55. You can usually take up to 25% as a tax-free cash lump sum and keep the rest invested for later. You’re in control of how much income you take (which is taxable), and can make withdrawals whenever you want to.

You have the freedom to choose your own investments, and if they perform well you could receive a growing income throughout retirement. Any money left over when you die can be passed on to your loved ones, often tax free.

Your pension will need to be with a provider that offers drawdown.

How can we help?

Compared with other options like an annuity, which provides a guaranteed income for life, there is more risk with drawdown. It is therefore important to think carefully about the income you’ll need when you retire. 

If your investments do not perform as you had hoped or you take too much income too soon, you could run out of money. Our expert team can help model your pension value and future income to make an informed decision. 

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

What is an Annuity?

Annuities may offer a secure source of income, but you typically get a one-time decision only and then you are locked into the arrangement for the rest of your life.

Your choice of annuity is completely open, but the annuity market is exceptionally competitive and you may be faced with a number of bewildering choices. 

Choosing the appropriate annuity might make thousands of pounds worth of difference to your income over your lifetime.

How can we help?

Having spent your working life saving for retirement, it is critical that you choose the right annuity to maximise your retirement income. It is not compulsory to take your annuity with your Pension provider, so we can review the annuity market and help select the right one for you. 

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation.

Pension Age Calculator

Use our free Pension calculator to forecast how long your pension could support your desired retirement lifestyle*.

It will take a few simple inputs:

  • Current age and desired retirement age
  • Existing pension pot
  • Gross salary and future contribution rate
  • Your target annual retirement income

For more advice on the details provided in the calculator or general advice on pensions complete the contact details section or call us today. 

*Please note

The output of the Pension calculator is an estimate only and not guaranteed.

The actual retirement income you receive may be affected by future changes including, Inflation, Interest Rates and Investment Growth.

Find My Pension(s)

Need help finding your pension(s)?

This free service from the UK government can help you find a lost pension.

You will need the name of an employer or a pension provider to use the service. The service will not tell you whether you have a pension, or what its value is.