Expert Pensions

Managing Pensions During A Crisis With Less Than 5 Years To Retire

The COVID-19 crisis has taken everyone by surprise resulting in stock markets being significantly impacted. This is extremely worrying and stressful for all pension investors, both pre-retirement and post-retirement. It is highly recommended that you speak to a pension advisor and review your fund. Only then an appropriate investment strategy can be determined. Market downturns can also be a positive opportunity to enhance your pension investment value.

Approximately 62% of workers in Ireland are members of a Defined Contribution (‘DC’) pension scheme. This is where your contributions are paid into a fund that invests in the stock market. Funds typically achieve investment growth over the long term; however, in the short to medium term, the investment value can rise and fall due to global economic events such as COVID-19. The stock market has performed extremely well over the past 10-12 years whereby investments have achieved higher than average returns.

Here’s our advice for anyone who has less than 5 years to retirement:

  • Typically, your pension advisor would de-risk your pension benefits as you move through your life cycle.
  • Your pension fund value may not have been exposed to the COVID-19 impact as your advisor may have moved your assets away from exposed equity funds into lower risk funds.
  • Where your pension is invested in a fund that is exposed to equities, your retirement benefits may be even lower than you anticipate.
  • It is recommended that you speak to a pension expert to ensure your investment fund choice is in line with your risk appetite and risk tolerance.

Considerations

  • It may be suitable to transfer other savings and/or investments to help your pension recover at a faster rate. You will avail of the relevant tax relief for any contributions paid, subject to Revenue limits.
  • Having a balanced and diversified investment approach will avoid missing out market growth and avoid further negative impacts to your pension value.
  • Your investment approach should be dictated from the retirement options you expect to take at retirement age.
  • Increase your regular contributions and take advantage of cheaper unit prices in the market.
  • A fund switch may be relevant to maximise your recovery.
  • Deferring your desired retirement date if necessary. This will help you not having to access your pension benefits until your investment value has recovered.

Making premature decisions without knowing all your options can result in further negative impacts to your pension fund value. Expert Pensions will understand your overall circumstances, review your pension fund(s) and outline all appropriate options for your consideration.a