2. AVANTIS WEALTH PENSION REVIEW & ACTION PLAN
Retirement means different things to different
people. For some, it’s a time for relaxing or taking
a well-earned rest after a busy career. For others,
it’s an opportunity to travel, spend more time on
hobbies or to achieve all the lifetime ambitions still
left on their wish list.
Whatever your aspirations one thing is certain – it’s
very important to plan ahead. Having a plan is
crucial. Many people move into retirement with little
or no idea of whether they have sufficient money
to fund the lifestyle they dream of. Deciding on
the type of retirement you want well in advance is
The sooner you take stock of where you are now
and start planning, the more chance you have that
your savings, investments and pensions will deliver
what you need. And to help you we have produced
the Avantis Wealth Pension Review & Action Plan. All
the questions you really need to know the answers
to, if you’re to achieve your idyllic retirement!
CHAPTER 1 – THE PENSION REVIEW
There are three elements to your pension review:
1. THE ISSUES FOR YOU! PG 4
2. THE ISSUES FOR YOUR PROVIDER! PG 6
3. THE ISSUES FOR YOUR ADVISER! PG 7
The questions asked will unlock the truth to
whether your retirement plans are on track.
CHAPTER 2 – THE ACTION PLAN
If the pension review has set some alarm bells ringing,
then you need an action plan.The sooner you implement
your action plan, the better your chances of your idyllic
1. WHERE ARE YOU NOW? PG 9
2. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE? PG 10
3. WHAT IS THE GAP? PG 11
4. WHAT IS YOUR ACTION PLAN? PG 12
5. HOW RICH IS YOUR RICHER RETIREMENT? PG 13
6. SIX PENSION REVIEW CASE STUDIES PG 14
THE ISSUES FOR YOU
Am I contributing enough to meet my
In other words, when do you want to retire and
how much income do you need? This is the most
important question given that if you don’t put
enough into your pension pot, you won’t get as
much out. On page 8 we have produced a handy
tool to help you do the maths!
What are my future financial needs and how are
they going to change?
Think about your living expenses, such as housing
and running a car, and how these will change over
the next 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. Remember to
budget for things like holidays and leisure activities
like golf. If you have debts then you may decide to
use some of your retirement savings to pay them
off, particularly if you are paying high rates of
interest on your credit cards for example.
Your financial needs are likely to reduce as you get
older and become less active but then your ability
to work also reduces. Bear in mind that in later
years costs could increase as you may need to pay
towards long term care for you or your spouse. You
may decide to either downsize or release equity
from your home, and this can add substantially to
your retirement income.
Should I take a tax-free cash sum?
Many savers choose to take the 25% cash tax free
element at age 55. With the new pension freedoms
many savers now have access to all of their pension,
subject to their marginal rate of income tax over
and above the 25% tax free element. While it may
be tempting to splash out on the holiday of a
lifetime, you could adversely affect the amount of
income you have in retirement!
How long will my money have to last?
We now tend to live longer. An average 65 year
old in good health is expected to live for another
24 years and one in four people could now live to
see their 95th birthday. Our retirement savings
are going to have to last us for a very long time –
perhaps 30 years or more. Moving your pension
arrangements to new opportunities could make a
big difference to your lifestyle in retirement.
What other savings do I have?
As well as savings in pension plans you may have
other types of savings, for example bank saving
accounts, premium bonds or ISAs. It may be better
for you to take money from other savings first
before drawing from your pension plan. If you own
your home you might think about selling or renting
it out to fund your retirement but remember you
will still need somewhere to live! Other options
include equity release which many people who wish
to stay in their own home prefer.
How much will my State Pension be?
Most people will be entitled to an old age pension
provided by the State. The amount of this pension
is not the same for everyone and will depend on
your employment history and when you were born.
Remember the State Pension is designed to cover
only a very basic standard of living without any
What happens when I die?
No one likes to think about dying, but next to taxes
it is the other of life’s certainties. If you die before
you reach 75, any money left in your pension plan
will be paid to your survivors free of any tax. If you
die after 75, money paid to your survivors may be
subject to tax depending on their circumstances.
Retirement savings which remain in pension plans
are not normally counted for inheritance tax
purposes. If you buy an annuity then the benefits
payable after your death will depend on the terms
of the contract with the insurer. For many, providing
by way of legacy is as much a consideration, as the
income you’ll want during your retirement. Make
sure your pension meets your needs and those you
love when you’re gone.
Am I being scammed?
If you are considering moving your pension, then
take note! Unfortunately there are some dodgy
people around who would love to get their hands
on your money and some people have already lost
most of their retirement savings through scammers.
Be very wary if someone is encouraging you to take
your retirement savings or invest your money with
them. If what they are offering you seems too good
to be true, it almost certainly is!
Is now the right time to make a decision?
Time may be against you, if for example you have
less than five years to retirement, changing how
your pension is invested, could make you worse
off. You may be more flexible with your planned
retirement age, delaying it by two or three years,
when combined with a new investment strategy
could make the difference between a comfortable
retirement or not!
How often should I do a review?
Once you’ve got a plan, then you need to check it
to make sure it’s on track to deliver the retirement
income you need. You take your car for an MOT
annually, we think you should give your pension
plan an annual MOT!
THE ISSUES FOR YOUR PROVIDER
What fees am I being charged?
Are you stuck with a large pension provider?
Perhaps the biggest issue for old legacy type
pension arrangements are fees and charges.
You need to know what the annual cost from the
pension provider and fund managers’ costs. The
higher your fees the greater the impact of your
pension fund’s performance!
How are my assets invested?
There could be new investment products available
which were not previously, and you should also take
stock of your investments and see how it weighs
against your risk profile. It might be you want to
take more risk to achieve greater growth, or reduce
the risk as you approach retirement.
How are my investments performing?
All funds, even the very best, underperform from
time to time, but take time to ensure the strategy
remains appropriate and the underperformance is a
blip, rather than a long-term failure. There are many
millions of pounds stagnating in old fashioned with
profits life funds. Make sure your pension isn’t one
Are there any guaranteed annuity rates attached
or other benefits?
For defined contribution schemes, your provider
may guarantee an annuity rate which could provide
you with a decent retirement income which you
might lose out on if you go elsewhere to buy your
annuity. Your pension scheme might also come with
other benefits such as life cover.
How much would it cost me to transfer my
For those on defined contribution pensions,
switching to a new provider are likely to come with
transfer charges, so you should weigh up the charge
against the benefit of transferring. Transferring in
to a SIPP where annual fees and transaction costs
are generally low, can offset any penalty from your
current pension provider.
Is my fund being managed actively or passively?
There is much debate whether investments should
be passively managed (investments follow a given
market index, for example the FTSE100) or actively
managed (managers actively control the fund and
buy and sell investments on behalf of the fund).
Active costs more though there is potential for it
to grow more, but the risk is greater of the fund
THE ISSUES FOR YOUR
How much am I paying my adviser?
There have been fundamental changes to the way
Financial Advisers charge clients following the Retail
Distribution Review (RDR), you should clarify with
your Financial Adviser whether you will be charged
any extra prior to any review.
Are there any new developments I should be
The retirement market is currently in a period
of transition, with many new products being
developed, and rules regarding options such as
Annuities and Income Drawdown.
Sweeping new pension freedoms were introduced
in April 2015. Even if you feel you have a good
understanding of how the retirement market works,
it’s a good idea to let your Financial Adviser take
you through the latest developments and how they
could affect you.
What other options do I have?
Unless your pension fund is heading towards the
maximum lifetime allowance of £1 million from
April 2016, then you really should know if any other
options could transform your income in retirement.
Many people choose Self-Invested Personal Pensions
or SIPPs, as these often allow greater choice of
permitted investments, for example commercial
property and other non-traditional assets.
Will any changes in my personal life affect my
It is important to assess your options in the event
of, say, a change in marital status - particularly when
it comes to death benefits.
How can I minimise my tax bill?
Most people enjoy a personal income tax allowance
each tax year and this usually changes each year.
You should think about taking your retirement
savings in a way which makes the most use of your
personal tax allowance so you don’t have to pay tax
unnecessarily. Your Financial Adviser should guide
you through this.
Should I buy an annuity?
An annuity is a promise by an insurance company to
pay you an income for the rest of your life. You pay
the insurance company to give you the certainty of
income each month or year – regardless of how long
you live or investment performance. Some annuities
provide for payments to be made to a surviving
spouse or dependant after your death. You should
check the terms of the annuity before you commit
as they cannot usually be changed afterwards.
It is worth shopping around different insurance
companies before you buy as prices can vary. With
the new pension freedoms, you do not have to buy
an annuity, and in many instances it will be beneficial
to use the new pension freedoms to secure higher
income in retirement. Your Financial Adviser should
guide you on whether an annuity is right for you.
Where do I go to get more help?
Moving your retirement savings is a big decision and
not one to be taken lightly. If you have any queries,
please get in touch with us directly and we’ll be happy
to help. If you need independent financial advice we
can put you in touch with our preferred IFAs.
8. ACTION PLAN FOR A RICHER RETIREMENT
• Has the pension review set alarm bells ringing?
• Do you have a frozen or
• Are you disappointed with the return on your
savings or investments?
• Are you concerned that your potential retirement
income may not be as high as you want or need?
• Or that you need your investments and savings
to produce more income right now?
To get to where you want to be you need an action
plan. This document can help.
Avantis Wealth does not provide financial or pension
advice, but this list of headings can help you analyse
your current situation and may help you decide how
to move forward.
If you do require individual financial or pension
advice please talk to a professional advisor or ask
Avantis Wealth for an introduction to a preferred IFA.
We strongly recommend you seek professional
advice before entering into any contract.
1. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
FF List assets
FF List liabilities
FF List income and sources
FF Fixed and variable
FF Earned and unearned
FF List expenditure
FF Fixed and variable
FF Any expenditure which will stop in future years?
FF What is available for saving?
FF Trading lifestyle now for lifestyle later
FF Do you need to save?
FF Do you need to save more?
FF How can you do that?
FF What will your current savings and investment
strategy deliver and when?
FF Is that OK?
(If so, stop here!)
Throughout the process Avantis Wealth
have been thoughtful, professional,
insightful and have been very straight
about balancing risk and reward. I’ve
been more than pleased with the level of
their knowledge and experience.
Dr N Kennedy, Sussex
10. Thanks for your unfailing support. The
customer service your team provides
really is exceptional and we appreciate
it very much. You are efficient, great
communicators and good at what you
do. I think that other organisations and
individuals could learn a lot from you.
M Robinson, Devon
2. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE
AND WHEN? (in income terms)
FF Calculate “need”
(income you must have)
FF Calculate “want”
(income you’d like to have)
FF Is this more than your current strategy will
FF How many years before your preferred
outcome has to deliver?
3. WHAT IS THE GAP?
FF What is the shortfall, between where you expect to
be and where you either want or need to be?
FF Can you bridge the gap with existing resources?
(This may depend on investment performance)
FF If not, where are extra financial resources coming
from? Savings / inheritance / other?
A big thank you to the team at Avantis
Wealth for all your assistance in helping
me evaluate my pension transfers
and helping set up the SIPP. I have no
hesitation in recommending you and
indeed have done so on three separate
P New, Surrey
4. WHAT IS YOUR ACTION PLAN?
FF More profitable investment strategy?
(Do you understand the available investment
options and what is appropriate? The
difference to current and future income can be
FF Identify non-performing investments and
assets, including property. How can you make
the money work harder?
FF Clarify and achieve the correct balance
between income from direct investments with
income from your pension
FF Request a detailed pension review through our
FF Does your current pension allow the
investment selections you prefer?
FF Does your current pension enable you to take
control and make investment choices?
(This should only be considered by people that
take an active interest in their investments and
have the time available to do this on a regular
FF Is your current pension likely to deliver the
income you want?
FF Would an alternative pension wrapper be
(Advice from an IFA, is required to help you
answer this question)
FF Learn about annuities and drawdown as
alternative approaches to taking money from a
pension. Decide what would be best suited to
FF Consider increasing your regular or adhoc
savings amount, if available and appropriate
FF Put cash aside for a ‘rainy day’. Many people
consider that 90 days income is a reasonable
target to have. Consider if direct investment
rather than a pension would be appropriate for
this segment of your investments
13. Want to invest for income now?
Do you have poorly performing investments
and need to generate the best possible income
right now? Then consider investments within
our portfolio which offer:
• Up to 15% annual income
• Payable quarterly, six monthly or annually
• Investment starts at £10,000
Want to build your fund for the future,
achieving maximum growth?
Whether you wish to invest directly or through a
pension scheme, our investment portfolio offers
a wide choice of investment type, location and
• Investments typically from 1 to 5 years
• Returning up to 15% annually
• Investment starts at £10,000
Want the benefits of Avantis Wealth
Keep up-to-date by registering as a Gold member
on our website at www.avantiswealth.com,
there is no cost. Once registered you’ll be sent
complimentary special reports, for example
‘Property As Your Pension’, together with our
monthly F.R.E.S.H. Investment newsletter and
Do you have a frozen or
Then request a complimentary pension review.
This will show you:
• Value of your fund
• Performance over the last 5-8 years
• Fees and charges you are incurring
• Expected income in retirement
Armed with this information you can explore
options to do better.
5. HOW RICH IS YOUR RICHER
FF With these changes what is your new
anticipated income in retirement?
£ _________________________ per annum
£ _________________________ per month
Bear in mind that the value of any
investment can go down as well as up
and you might not get back what you
put in. Some types of investment, e.g.
property, may not be readily realisable
and may take time to sell in view of the
nature of the investment.
14. FREEPHONE: 0800 612 0880 LANDLINE: 01273 447 299
This PensionAudit Action Plan has been developed by RodThomas FCA, Managing
Director of Avantis Wealth Ltd. It is designed as a self-help tool to assist clients in
developing their own strategy. It is specifically not a recommendation for any course
of action, which can only be provided by an appropriate professional advisor.
FUND INCREASE % INCOME INCREASE %
Client A 395% 216%
Client B 365% 182%
Client C 429% 254%
Client D 412% 235%
Client E 324% 137%
Client F 528% 371%
AVERAGE 408% 232%
SO TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS YOUR RICHER RETIREMENT
AND REQUEST YOUR COMPLIMENTARY PENSION REVIEW TODAY!
AVANTIS WEALTH PENSION REVIEWCASE STUDIES
The following are the six most recent pension reviews results*, a simple
representative sample of how you could transform your retirement.
*23 June 2015
15. THE RICHER RETIREMENT SPECIALISTS
Avantis Wealth Ltd is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is not a financial promotion or an invitation to invest.
Avantis Wealth Ltd does not provide any financial or investment advice. We provide a referral to a regulated advisor who will offer appropriate advice, or to the company offering an investment who will determine your suitability for
the investment prior to any offer being made. We strongly recommend that you seek appropriate professional advice before entering into any contract. The value of any investments can go down as well as up and you might not get
back what you put in. You may have difficulty selling any investment at a reasonable price and in some circumstances it might be difficult to sell at any price.
Do not invest unless you have carefully thought about whether you can afford it and whether it is right for you and if necessary consult with a professional adviser in accordance with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. These
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decision to subscribe. Persons in any doubt regarding the risks associated with investments of this nature should consult a suitable qualified and authorised advisor.