BLOG: Pensions guidance for Santa

Written by Natalie Tuck

Santa Claus
Central Grotto
North Pole

Dear Santa,

At Pensions Age we know this is a very busy time of year for you; I’m sure you, your elves and reindeer are making the final preparations for the big trip.

I hope you received our letter requesting a ‘Workie’ cuddly toy for the newsroom but just to make sure we make it onto your ‘nice’ list, we thought we would send you some pensions guidance from our industry experts.

Pensions may not be your number one priority, but like many individuals and employers, you are not alone.

However, given that you will have a lot of time on your hands after the 25th of the month, we thought you might find the following useful.

Mercer senior associate Glyn Bradley has unfortunately pointed out to us that you missed out on the Coca Cola defined benefit pension plan. Instead, he recommends you should ‘seriously think about an annuity’ for income protection.

Don’t rush into this though as Punter Southall head of DC consulting Alan Morahan thinks you should consider investing in an enhanced or impaired life annuity. Sorry Santa, but Morahan says your waistline bears all the signs of a busy international traveller, with meals ate on the hoof and regularly plied with alcohol.

However, fellow Mercer partner Deborah Cooper suggests that you could be an early adopter of the ‘new reality’. I’m sorry to tell you but this means to carry on working indefinitely, as it is the only way to finance your lifestyle.

On the other hand, eValue technical sales director Andrew Storey notes that you may want to opt for a flexible retirement income. To be honest, if you’re planning to keep working this could be ideal; Storey notes that 55 per cent of your fellow peers over 60 go for this option. This, he says, would allow you to repair the sleigh or escape the North Pole for some summer sun.

This option would also allow you to leave your pot to the elves, says Intelligent Pensions managing director Steve Patterson, who dutifully informs me do not have a pension of their own!

Lucky you though, as you don’t have to worry about auto-enrolment because you're based in the North Pole. However, if you did want to set up a workplace pension for them then Old Mutual Wealth retirement planning manager Adrian Walker thinks Workie could survive a visit to the North Pole.

But Santa, Aberdeen Asset Management head of retirement savings Gregg McClymont suggests that you also think about your long-term care needs, because after all, someone will need to keep going down those chimneys.

And of course Santa, pensions are for life, not just for Christmas – credit to Standard Life head of pensions strategy Jamie Jenkins.

Merry Christmas

Natalie at Pensions Age

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