Mr Ray Smits

Mr Ray Smits

Private Client, Pension Planning

Over the years, I had managed to acquire a series of Personal Pension Funds through working as a lawyer with different firms, but, as I approached retirement, I wasn’t clear what my options were.

I approached Graeme Young two years before retirement, and he suggested that we sat down and had a chat about the options available at the time, what my own requirements were and how I viewed the risks attaching to the different Funds I had built up.

Graeme provided me with a Guide outlining various options and suggested that I read this before reverting to him to discuss further. He advised that he would arrange for my existing Plans to be valued and assessed regarding performance and costs, as well as researching any special conditions attaching to them, such as annuity rates which were higher than available in the market in general.  This was something I had never considered.

We had a further meeting as I approached retirement, and, after considering all the options available and what my requirements were, we agreed that the use of a Phased Drawdown Plan offered me flexibility and potentially greater death benefits for my wife, should I predecease her, both very important considerations for me.

My situation was further complicated by the fact that, just as we agreed which option was best, the Budget Announcement made by the Chancellor led to major changes in Pensions, resulting in significant flexibility becoming available in April 2015.  Graeme discussed these changes with me to ensure that the option selected was still my preferred choice.

Whilst I had some knowledge of Pensions, I would never have been able to consider all the options, and the way that Graeme explained them to me made sure that I arrived at the best solution for my own situation.