Help! I’m retiring soon and my pension value has plummeted

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Help! I’m retiring soon and my pension value has plummeted

Speaking to you from houses across the country this time are Bertrand Pole, technical pension specialist, Ann-Marie Atkins, managing partner, and (host) Neil Watson, managing partner.

Recently, many people have seen the value of their pensions plummet which sounds very scary when you’re about to retire. But what options do you have if you’re planning to retire in the middle of a falling market?

If your pension value has dropped and you were really relying on it, there are so many different options to talk through – hope is not lost.

Pension options

The first thing to say is that the flexibility of pension options nowadays means you can keep working and still access your pensions or keep paying into one.

Other options range from annuities to uncrystallised funds pension lump sums UFPLS – Bert goes through them all and what they mean (don’t worry).

Looking at things in the short term – what about using other savings or finances now and your pension later?

What if you’re solely reliant on your pension – as many are? How can you phase access to that and look at different forms of guaranteed income?

What do you need to consider before you start taking money out of a pension? It’s about understanding what you need. For example, will you realistically need money for a holiday any time soon?

What else do the speakers look at?

  • Cashflow modelling – this is an important visual tool that lets you see how each option could look. Plus it can help you see where you might need to spend less or where you might be able to spend more.
  • What about taking it out and holding the whole lot as cash? Emotionally – can you stomach the sight of any loss in your pension? Practically – should markets eventually recover? And what about the low return rates on cash?
  • What would happen if your pension employer went bust? The short answer is that pension assets have to be kept separate from the company itself. But are there any exceptions, and what about final salary pension schemes?
  • I have a final salary pension – will it be affected by the pandemic?’ Where are final salary pensions invested? Do they take measures for those close to retirement?

And the big one – should clients expect higher returns in future then because of all this?

As Ann-Marie says: it’d be lovely to say yes and be certain of that, but you just can’t be. Historically, big market drops have shown upward curves in the years afterwards, but this cannot be guaranteed in general.

Unfortunately there are never any guarantees when it comes to investing. As you probably well know…

A summary note from the speakers

We always ensure that we explore every single option the person has so we can make suggestions that don’t impact their pension poorly. Ideally we want to give clients some time for the markets to recover, and hopefully their pension with it. It’s really important to understand all your options and talk to professionals who want to help you with your personal situation.

But the biggest take away from this is that – there are a number of flexible options to access your pension fund, even with the challenging times.

Speak to us

Now that we have to stay at home, you might have more time to think about your pensions and other finances. We can help, even in the challenging conditions.

We offer a free initial consolation with a Tilney financial planner so you can talk about your specific circumstances and ask any questions you may have. During this consultation, we can’t give you financial advice but we can provide guidance and, if you decide that you’d benefit from advice, we can explain the options and costs.

Book a consultation

Or, if you have other questions about your finances, you can call us on 020 7189 2400 or email

If you have any questions about the event or want to suggest other topics for our experts to go through, email

Important information

The value of your investments can go down as well as up. Past performance is not an indicator of future performances.

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  • Neil Watson (Host) Managing Partner
  • Ann-Marie Atkins Managing Partner
  • Bertrand Pole Technical Specialist

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