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It’s fair to say that the UK’s vote to leave the EU has caused havoc with the pensions of British workers. The interest cut has also caused huge problems for companies offering old salary-linked pensions who collectively were already responsible for a shortfall of £25bn in 2015, an astounding figure which has now risen to £73bn as Brexit becomes reality. Members of these final salary schemes are the lucky ones though – it is up to their employers to foot the bill.
Less fortunate are those who have defined contribution pensions – and there are over nine million of them – who are on their own to make up shortfalls. Older voters in the UK who voted for Brexit might be kicking themselves now that interest rates have been cut causing bond yields to plunge and wiping up to £15bn off retirement savings. Many of them will need to significantly increase their monthly retirement contributions – sometimes by up to two or three times to reach retirement targets, bringing the extra payments into the thousands.
The situation is worse for those nearest to retiring. A 60 year old planning to stop work in five years will need to triple their contributions to reach pre-Brexit retirement fund expectations whereas a 50 year old will need to double theirs.
The problem is that many people do not realise the devastating effect that interest rate reductions are having on their pension pots, especially as markets have gone up, but historically low interest rates look set to be with us for the foreseeable future so this is a problem that isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, rates could go even lower than the current rate of 0.25%.
Those approaching retirement face stark choices – increase contributions by making sacrifices now, work longer or compromise on lifestyle in retirement by accepting lower pension payments. Investment choices could also make a difference with some experts suggesting reallocating assets to reduce exposure to the UK economy and minimise the fallout from Brexit.
If you are concerned about how the Brexit vote has affected your savings, now is a good time to review your situation with a professional financial adviser. If you don’t have one, or are unhappy with the advice you are getting from yours, why not make an appointment with one of Infinity’s highly trained financial planners who can work through the figures with you and advise on how you can curtail the impact of the no vote on your retirement fund?
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