I have had some phone calls recently from people who had heard about changes to pensions and wanted to know if they could get some money.
The new legislation means that when people in a Pension Scheme retire they do not necessarily have to take a pension. They could take the money as a lump sum instead.
This only applies to people in a ‘Defined Contributions’ scheme where a lump sum has been built up. Anyone who works for the National Health Service or the Local Authority is in a ‘Defined Benefits ‘ scheme and nothing has changed. They will get a pension when they retire.
BUT, it is possible that earlier in their working lives they worked for another employer and paid into a Pension Fund. This could entitle them to a lump sum.
The Government operates a Pension Tracing Service for tracking down any old pension funds. It is free. The phone number is 0842 6002 537 or you can go on line. There is a link from www.Adviceguide.org.uk.
If you are thinking about retiring, are at least 54 ½ and want to get expert advice to help you consider your options you can book a free appointment with a Pensions Guidance Specialist who has been trained by the Government’s Pension Advisory Service. The easiest way to contact a specialist is through the Citizen’s Advice Bureau as that is where they are based.
Notice I used the word FREE. If you are contacted by anyone offering advice and asking for money, don’t fall for it. It is not better because you have paid for it. It is a way of parting you from your cash.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is at 7 Atholl Crescent. Drop in is 10am-12 noon, Monday to Friday or phone 01738 450581 for an appointment in the afternoon. If the line is busy you can leave a message and you will get a call-back. The number will come up as Withheld to protect your privacy.
01738 450580 is the Advice Line. Everything is confidential, even the fact that you visited the bureau.
There is also a web-site run by the CAB. Adviceguide.org.uk covers many topics and is easy to use.