James was married to Jan and they had two children and one grandchild aged 18 months
James owned a number of pension plans.
When he started his career he had worked for some years with a Local Authority and had a final salary pension applicable to those 10 years
In his early years in private practice he had taken out a Retirement Annuity into which he paid single premium contributions.
For the last 15 years of his working life James had contributed to a series of personal pension policies from a number of Insurance Companies. In total these funds were forth £350,000
James was very confused because each Provider had sent him paperwork and suggested different benefits such as taking a tax free cash sum, a level pension or one that increased in payment, a pension which was just paid during his lifetime or one which continued to his wife should he die first
James liked the idea of having his pension arriving in his bank account each month from just one source
He had also read in the newspapers about annuities and was concerned that if he died early in retirement the capital value of his retirement fund would be lost to his family
WHAT WE DID
We sent James an explanatory leaflet to read before his first meeting. This explained to him the various benefit options available at retirement. In this way he was prepared and able to ask questions at an early stage in the discussion
We held a preliminary meeting when we agreed with James the level of income he required and fully discussed the options set out in the leaflet we had sent him
We then did some research. We found out the benefits and options available on each scheme.
We advised James to take benefits from his Local Authority Scheme because this provides a guaranteed income for life which will increase in payment and provides benefits for his wife should he pre-decease her. A tax free lump sum was also available