If you are nearing retirement, you may have been particularly worried about the impact of recent market volatility on your pension assets and perhaps you are reassessing your retirement plans. There are several things to consider if you are planning to retire, which will depend very much on your own circumstances.

Since pensions freedoms were introduced in 2015, there are many more options available to retirees. Sudden retirements used to be the norm. People would stop work completely one day and be fully retired the next, perhaps receiving a regular income from an annuity. It is now possible to take a more gradual journey into retirement – making use of this flexibility in how you draw funds could be sensible in times of uncertainty.

Consider your timescales

If your planned retirement is 5 to 10 years away, there is a reasonable time for your savings to recover from the recent market volatility, but you should still take action:

  • Review your retirement age.
  • Consider increasing your pension contributions.
  • Talk to us about your attitude to risk and appropriate fund switches.

If you have less than five years to retirement, your pension pot may not have been exposed to market volatility as much as you think. You may have benefited from a lifestyle option on your pension which is designed to ‘lock in’ investment growth as you approach retirement, by switching funds to less risky assets. This option is not suitable for everyone, particularly if you intend to keep your pension pot invested and use income drawdown to give you an income in retirement.

If you are retiring this year and your pension pot has taken a hit, you could consider delaying retirement until markets recover, but this may not be an option for everyone.

Advice is key

One of the biggest risks in uncertain times is to act in haste and make rash decisions.

Getting financial advice is crucial in making the right decision. We can help you consider all your options, including reviewing whether any other assets could be used to provide an income, so that your pension stays untouched.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.