Expert Pensions

Taking Back Control

We’ve all heard the phrase “take back control” bandied about by Brexit supporters but when it comes to your precious pension, taking back control can be the right move.

Most private sector workers belong to a Defined Contribution (DC) pension scheme. If your fund is under-performing, you will suffer the consequences whereas with a Defined Benefit (DB) scheme, it’s the employer who shoulders the risk.

Your 40s is a good age to speak to a financial adviser and investigate if your pension pot is heading in the right direction. The kind of questions to ask include

  • is my money invested in low, medium or high risk funds?
  • has the fund been performing better or worse than expected?
  • what has been the annual growth percentage in recent years?
  • are the fund management charges too high?

Expert advice is crucial here — most people do not have enough financial knowledge to understand exactly how their fund is performing and what, if any, action they need to take to maximise the return.

For example, if your company scheme is not performing well, you may decide to start investing your AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions) into a PRSA (Personal Retirement Savings Account).

A financial adviser can not only analyse your pension fund performance, they can help track down “lost pensions” from previous jobs and help you take back control of them, too.

Now is definitely the time to start reviewing your pension on a yearly basis — not the year before you retire when it will be too late to take corrective action.

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