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Retirement Planning: What Are The Alternative To A Pension?

Do you even need one?


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 10/08/2023 @ 8:00AM

When it comes to retirement planning, it's crucial to stay informed about the various options available to you. Traditional pensions, once considered the bedrock of retirement savings, are facing challenges that have led many to explore alternative avenues ...

A balanced approach to retirement planning may provide the most secure path to a comfortable retirement!

A balanced approach to retirement planning may provide the most secure path to a comfortable retirement!

copyright: andreypopov / 123rf

I want to guide you through some of the alternatives that are gaining popularity:

  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)

    ISAs have become an attractive option for those seeking flexibility in their retirement savings. Unlike pensions, ISAs can be accessed at any age, allowing you to withdraw income as needed. While they may not offer upfront tax relief like pensions, the income is tax-free.

  • Lifetime ISAs (LISAs)

    LISAs, on the other hand, are designed specifically for young people saving for retirement or a first home. With a 25% government bonus, LISAs can be a valuable supplement or even an alternative to standard pensions.

    However, it's essential to be aware of the 25% penalty if you access funds for reasons other than buying your first home or retirement.

  • Property Investment

    With soaring house prices, many have turned to property as their pension. But this path is not without its challenges. Costs associated with buying and selling, ongoing maintenance, and potential market downturns must be considered.

    Property investment requires careful planning and understanding of the market to ensure it aligns with your retirement goals.

  • Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)

    VCTs are listed investment companies set up to back SMEs and are currently enjoying a surge of interest. They offer 30% income tax relief on investments and tax-exempt dividends.

    However, VCTs are high-risk and often illiquid, so relying solely on a VCT portfolio could lead to a diminished retirement fund.

  • The Role of Traditional Pensions

    Despite the appeal of these alternatives, traditional pensions remain a highly tax-efficient way of saving for retirement. With upfront income tax relief, exemption of tax on income and gains, and the ability to pass an undrawn pension to the next generation free of inheritance tax (IHT), pensions should not be overlooked.

Retirement planning is a complex and personal journey. While alternatives like ISAs, LISAs, property, and VCTs offer exciting opportunities, they come with their own risks and considerations.

A balanced approach that includes a mix of these options may provide the most secure path to a comfortable retirement. Yes, a pension is still desirable, but it can certainly be supplemented by alternatives.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about retirement planning, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help.

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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.