Pensions Services & Advice

Lots of types of pensions

Pension Planning

‘I’m not sure how much I need for my retirement?’

We have market leading cash flow forecasting software which can assess where you are now, if there may be a shortfall and how much you need to save to make up the difference...

Pension Consolidation

“I have several ‘old’ pensions? I don’t even know where to start!”

Our advisers regularly review multiple historic pensions, their charges and performance, to see how best to utilise pension fund values...

Early Retirement

“I hear you can now ‘cash-in’ your pension?”

After age 55, yes, but care is needed as if this is done without knowing the rules, unexpected and large tax bills can result. Advice is extremely important here...

With-profits pension investments

“For larger pension pots”

Certain types of larger pensions are able to invest into the broadly diversified unit-linked, with-profits funds...

Pension tax planning

“The ultimate savings plan”

Pensions are extremely tax efficient in the accumulation of the fund and, with careful planning, the taking retirement benefits can be made more so too...

Pension cash-flow forecasting

“How much can I sustainably withdraw in retirement?”

Cash flow forecasting is important at any stage of life but at retirement it is critical as of course your earning capacity falls to zero...

Capacity for loss

“What risk can you afford to take?”

Whilst an investor may be assessed as naturally an adventurous type, circumstances of income and outgoings may dictate a more cautious stance would be prudent...

Changing attitudes to risk

“With the loss of employment income, many people become more cautious”

A lowering of risk appetite can come either naturally as a result of age or from the realisation that any capital losses are hard to recoup during retirement. As part of our service we regularly assess attitude to risk and capacity for loss of our clients...

How can I find out more?

“Can we arrange a face to face meeting?”

Our Financial Conduct Authority registered investment advisers are happy to help and advise. Please call us on 01372 747799

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The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

Pension consolidation advice is available. If you hold a Defined Benefit Pension Scheme or Defined Contribution pension with a guaranteed minimum pension or income, any advice you receive will be through a dedicated referral advice service and a specialist within our network.

Pension Advice

Pension planning

In no other area of financial planning is starting early as important as with pensions. Albert Einstein said the eighth wonder of the world is compound interest, and with a potentially decades long holding period for a pension, nowhere is it more true than here. Nevertheless, even for those starting later in life, with the substantial tax reliefs available to pensions, contributions can make a real difference to somebody's standard of living in their “golden years”. The pensions market has changed radically in recent times with the introduction of employer sponsored auto-enrolment pensions which we strongly recommend all clients join and if there are matching employer contributions for additional payments made by the employee, this is truly free money. Never underestimate the value of pensions.

In addition in 2015, flexible access drawdown pensions were introduced which have changed many people's minds as to their attractiveness. No longer is there a requirement to buy an inflexible annuity and lose access to those hard earned savings.

Pension consolidation

In this increasingly mobile employment world we live in, people find they have multiple pensions and are often paying a plethora of different policy charges and fees so not only can costs start to mount up but also the weight of paperwork dropping through somebody's letterbox each year can be overwhelming. In addition to potentially saving money, if pensions are consolidated into a new plan, this also provides simplicity and one view off the likely trajectory of pension benefits. In addition many of these historic pensions were set up prior to the 2015 drawdown legislation and therefore they are not flexible pensions and therefore options to take benefits are limited. Consolidating prior to retirement can often provide much valued variability of tax free cash payments and income.

Early Retirement

Early retirement means different things for different people. Sometimes there is a change from a stressful occupation to a lower paid but more enjoyable job but this could mean additional income is needed from those hard earned savings from those prior employments to make ends meet until either the State Pensions or former occupational pensions that cut in at ages ranging from 60 to 67. If there is a complete cessation of work at an example age of 62 with state pension cutting in at aged 67 there will be a complete drop in income. Perhaps we have consolidated pensions into one flexible modern plan with 25% tax free cash is available and this could be taken at 5% per year for five years We can also draw a monthly sum from the income portion of the pension enough to use up the 0% personal allowance for income tax. In this way the tax efficient savings built up in the pension over many years can be drawn very tax efficiently during these five years prior to State Pension Age. Once the State Pension plus any occupational schemes start paying out, then income from the remaining flexible pension pot can be either reduced or stopped completely, perhaps even leaving a legacy on eventual death for family.

With-profits pension investments

Some investors are nervous about stock market investments and require something a little different and less volatile.

The Prufund range of funds aim to grow investors’ money over the medium to long term (5 to 10 years or more), while protecting investors’ from some of the short[1]term ups and downs of direct stock market investments by using an established smoothing process. The Fund aims to maximise growth over the medium to long term by investing in shares, property, fixed interest and other investments. The fund currently invests in UK and international equities, property, fixed interest securities, index-linked securities and other specialist investments.

The Prufund range of funds are held within an investment bond and thus can be suitable for holding within a trust as this is a non income producing asset and thus minimises administration. These can also be very useful for inheritance tax planning.

Pension tax planning

Careful use of allowances such as pensions, individual savings accounts, capital gains tax and dividend allowances can really boost current and future incomes. Spouses can sometimes benefit from equalising their estates not only for everyday purposes but also for longer term estate planning. One about main aims as financial planners is to ensure clients are as tax efficient as possible. With increasing inflation and bills, careful tax planning is more important than ever. Company owners have additional options such as Relevant Life Plans which all deductible for corporation tax. These provide family protection to replace simple term insurance that is usually paid from after tax income. The savings can be substantial.

Pension cash-flow forecasting

With specialised software we are able to show clients the effect of increasing or decreasing savings on their medium and long term goals. Ensuring enough money is available for when it is needed is not just a technical matter but also an emotive one as if goals are not reached through lack of information this can cause pain and anguish in terms for medium and long term outcomes such as having to excessively cut back on expenditure in retirement. Clients do not of course have unlimited resources to save but judicious belt tightening and sensible saving can prevent many issues.

Capacity for loss

A Lifetime ISA offers tax relief in the form of a 25% tax bonus added on to whatever is saved up to a limit of £4,000 per tax year for those aged 18 to 40 when starting such a plan. For example, if a young person invested £100 per month into either a cash deposit based Lifetime ISA or a stocks and shares Lifetime ISA, then the government would add £25 each month as a bonus. The primary aim is to help those who are looking at buying a first time property in the future. If the money is not used for a property purchase and is instead withdrawn, there is a tax of 25% on the value paid out. Alternatively an investor can leave this invested and take the value of fund as a pension after age 60.

Changing attitudes to risk

A major part of a financial planner’s role is to ensure the client understands the risks and rewards of different asset classes, how this relates to timescales for investment and ensuring a client is invested in an appropriate fund or range of funds that match is their risk profile. Along with this we also have to consider “Capacity for loss”. An investor may be prepared to take a high risk but if his or her financial situation does not allow this we would of course suggest perhaps a lower risk profile of funds to ensure financial goals are met. Please ask us for our explanatory booklet “Making more of your money” which helps to explain these various concepts.


The Centre Court provides expert mortgage, protection and insurance advice. The Centre Court is a trading name of Milecross Financial Solutions Limited and The Centre Court is the name under which we carry out these services.

The Centre Court is not a business in it’s own right, it is part of Milecross Financial Solutions Limited, which is an appointed representative of The Openwork Partnership, a trading style of Openwork Limited. Milecross Financial Solutions Limited was set up in 2015 and has been part of The Openwork Partnership since 2016.

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The Openwork Partnership is one of the UK’s largest Financial Advice networks, with over 4,500 advisers and in excess of 700 appointed representatives based throughout the UK.