Could you boost your retirement income by £1,000s ??

Pensions were one of the last things on Ken Hawkins mind all the time he was busy earning a living.

However for many years he had been contributing to a pension plan and as he approached retirement he started to think about how best to use his pension fund.

'I thought hard about the best ways to take my pension and realized that there were several options that were open to me,' he says. 'What I didn’t know was which option was best for me and this was a concern - the paperwork was baffling and the easiest option was to take the annuity offered and send the forms back”

Ken is not alone, each year thousands of people turn their backs on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost their retirement funds by failing to look at the open market option. It can make all the difference!

Pensions were one of the last things on Ken Hawkins mind all the time he was busy earning a living.

However for many years he had been contributing to a pension plan and as he approached retirement he started to think about how best to use his pension fund.

'I thought hard about the best ways to take my pension and realized that there were several options that were open to me,' he says. 'What I didn’t know was which option was best for me and this was a concern - the paperwork was baffling and the easiest option was to take the annuity offered and send the forms back”

Ken is not alone, each year thousands of people turn their backs on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost their retirement funds by failing to look at the open market option. It can make all the difference!

Fortunately Ken decided to take advice from RIS and in his case we were able to boost the income from his pension plan by over £1,200 a year just by using the Open Market Option.

At retirement, most people with a private pension buy an annuity - a guaranteed income for life. But what most over look is their right to buy from a provider other than the one that managed their pension plan.

By shopping around, a lucky few can double the value of a pension, and most will see their income in retirement boosted by a healthy 10-15%. Yet fewer than four in ten use the Open Market Option.

It is even more crucial to use this option if you are not in the best of health - just popping a pill a day (on doctor’s orders) could increase your potential retirement income substantially as there are specialist providers who will take up to 1,500 conditions into consideration.

Only this week the OMO has come under criticism for the lack of promotion and take up when clients are choosing annuities.

It is easy to blame the pension companies for swamping clients with paperwork leading to confusion and misunderstanding of their options at retirement but the truth is they are often not at fault. Consumer apathy and fear of making financial decisions in areas that are new to people are by far the biggest reasons for the lack of Open Market Options being taken up in the UK.

The Pension Income Choice Association is calling for the OMO to be scrapped and replaced with a legal requirement to shop around for an annuity – consultation ends on 10 September so watch this space!

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