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Live now die later - pensions and inflation

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 JLS 31 May 2022

So look into your crystal ball and tell be what inflation is going to do over the next 40 years I might be alive.

I was getting excited about the possibility of early retirement until I worked out what 5% inflation would do to my pension over the next 20 years.

Until the recent crises, over the last 20 years inflation had been kept in check at around 2% ish but looking at historic figures 5% seems to have been the average from 1950-2020.

(1975 was some year! - 25%)

My guess is I'd need to budget on 5%. Too pessimistic?

Failing physic powers, any general pension advice?

Put it all on red and spin the wheel?

Buy Bitcoin and hope to become a billionaire over night?

Buy gold bullion and put it under the bed to hedge against collapse of the capitalist system?

Live well for 10 year and bugger the future? Given the current state of the world and continuing trends I'm not sure future is something that a couple of extra £k will make much difference to...

2
 ExiledScot 31 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

The answer would depend on what format your pension is: insurance annuity, cash under bed, company scheme, public sector.... some are index linked so will rise roughly with inflation, with state aspects relying on triple lock. Also if you've got full qualifying NI years for basic state pension.

Your plan shouldn't change, those already retired who deferred increases for x number of years will likely be starting so suffer at the moment.

 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

How many working years do have left before you wanted to retire?

If a fair few, I would hammer your pension as much as you can. It's tax free remember. Looking at Aviva pension returns:

  • 2021 +9.50%
  • 2020 +4.90%
  • 2019  +14.40%
  • 2018  -6.20% (ouch)
  • 2017 +10.50%
  • 2016 +15.70%
  • 2015 +2.60%
  • Average 7.34%

And inflation

  • 2021 = 2.60%
  • 2020 = 0.90%
  • 2019 = 1.80%
  • 2018 = 2.50%
  • 2017 = 2.70%
  • 2016 = 0.70%
  • 2015 = 0.10%
  • Average = 1.61%

I know it's a crappy right now, but these things change quick enough.

When you account for inflation, the above data gives an average real world return of 5.7% (average of return minus inflation).

If you earn £30k for example, and you stick 10% in a pension that returns a real work after inflation return of 5.7% for 10 years, you'd have £41k at the end, tax free (if I did my maths right).

Do the same for 20 years and that's £113k.

30 years and it's £238k.

I also put a bit of money into the FTSE100 index, which on average returns 7% (ignoring inflation) just to have a feeling of diversity.

3
 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

Oh, and you have any gaps in the NI contributes, buy them.

Can't remember what they cost (might be £800 per year?), but they pay for themselves in 3 or 4 years depending on your after retirement tax bracket. Best reliable investment you can make.

 morpcat 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

How do we find this out?

 Wainers44 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> Oh, and you have any gaps in the NI contributes, buy them.

> Can't remember what they cost (might be £800 per year?), but they pay for themselves in 3 or 4 years depending on your after retirement tax bracket. Best reliable investment you can make.

Really good advice. 

Unlike topping up into some company schemes,  making additional voluntary contributions.  Fine unless the company goes squit. 

You then lose 10% of your pension as it goes into the Pension Protection Fund, but you also lose all of the AVCs. So check that out, before you make any extra payments.  Wish I had!!!

 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to morpcat:

> How do we find this out?

Sign in here:

https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record

 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to Wainers44:

> but you also lose all of the AVCs

That's some small print for you. B@stards. Somebody somewhere must have said, if you can afford AVC's then you clearly have enough money so you'll be fine.

Punishment for being careful and sensible.

1
 Wainers44 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> > but you also lose all of the AVCs

> That's some small print for you. B@stards. Somebody somewhere must have said, if you can afford AVC's then you clearly have enough money so you'll be fine.

> Punishment for being careful and sensible.

I suppose at the time I was just grateful that 90% of the pension was still there. I had lost 30years redundancy pay, a couple of months unpaid salary, and unpaid expenses,  so the AVCs going down the toilet seemed small beer! As you say, no doubt buried in the small print and sometimes doing the right thing actually isn't. Should have spent the money on beer 😁

Post edited at 16:29
 jimtitt 31 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

All depends on what you want and the risk you are prepared to take. Inflation takes many forms, in particular branches of the economy or countries and then it depends on the relevant governments reaction. For example back in the 80's because UK inflation was high you could invest in a government backed fund to provide capital for industry which paid over inflation and was tax free. I took out a partial mortgage on my house and invested in the fund, cut my income tax bill and got a 14+% return as well. 

Either you are inactive and rely on the insurance funds to do the work (which pulls you back into average returns) or you become active and make your money and potential capital work for you.

2
OP JLS 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

>"Oh, and you have any gaps in the NI contributes, buy them."

I seem to have 38 full years.

Strangely (but correctly for the time), 3 years from when I was at school then I missed a couple of years when I was a student/unemployed in my late teens.

So I seem to be in line for the full amount of state pension.

I think one of my pensions might have a 2.5% annual increase built in but I'll need to check that.

The rest (about half the total pot) are in typical pension funds which I have a degree of flexibility with what to do with them.

I'm guessing you are suggesting that the typical growth should outstrip inflation and everything will be fine but the draw down models typically have worringly much more conservative growth forecasts than the historic Aviva figures you quote.

Post edited at 16:44
 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to JLS:

> Strangely (but correctly for the time), 3 years from when I was at school then I missed a couple of years when I was a student/unemployed in my late teens.

I have the exact same thing in my history.

> I'm guessing you are suggesting that the typical growth should outstrip inflation and everything will be fine

That's the idea.

> but the draw down models typically have worringly much more conservative growth forecasts than the historic Aviva figures you quote.

I often find this, I think it's to ensure you're prepared for worst case scenario and make alternative arrangements for such an event. This is what I assume, would be interesting to know what others think.

 Moacs 31 May 2022
In reply to Wainers44:

The AVC issue is simply avoided by putting it into a separate personal pension

 Wainers44 31 May 2022
In reply to Moacs:

> The AVC issue is simply avoided by putting it into a separate personal pension

Yup, I know that now! 

At the time I had just been miss sold a private pension, when I should have joined my company final salary scheme. Being young and daft and being subjected to bad advice was a poor combination for me. 

Having overcome that, paying AVCs seemed a grown up, safe and sensible thing to do. 

If its one thing I have learned about pensions, it's that how ever much I think I do know, I still don't know quite enough! Hence my advice to the OP to check the details! 

OP JLS 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

>"I often find this, I think it's to ensure you're prepared for worst case scenario"

I've found another modeller which if I gamble on achieving "middling growth" and take a 4% annual inflation increase give more encouraging results, suggesting i could make the fund last until age 87 which I expect might be longer than me.

https://www.which.co.uk/money/pensions-and-retirement/options-for-cashing-in-your-pensions/income-drawdown/income-drawdown-calculator-making-your-money-last-awvp49g8uq6l

In reply to montyjohn:

> > Strangely (but correctly for the time), 3 years from when I was at school then I missed a couple of years when I was a student/unemployed in my late teens.

> I have the exact same thing in my history.

School sixth form counts as Further Education, for which you get full credit. Higher Education doesn't, so the only contributions from the uni years will be from holiday jobs.

In reply to JLS:

Talk to an ifa, their trade body claims that they are worth £42k to the average customer.

My 2p, I am not an advisor so this is not advice and may only be worth 2p compared with the £42k above.

Assuming your pension is DC, if DB it still applies but DB softens the blow a bit.

When I looked into this I got a mean inflation rate of 2.32% over 50?years (as long as my search revealed records for). This sample has 70s stagflation, black weds, dot com and banking crisis so is not an optimistic or pessimistic figure.

Markets out perform inflation long term.

First step use your workplace pension ensure that you secure the max employer contribution. Free money from your employer and the treasury.

Maximise your pension contributions, either into workplace or personal pension. Free money from the tax man. If you are a higher rate tax payer, try to budget so that all of the higher tax money goes to pension.

Be aware of changes to pension age, not just npa but also the age you can access your personal pension savings, this has risen recently from 55 to 57 for many.

If you are looking to retire earlier than this look to an isa to bridge the gap.

Don't rely on the state pension, the political will is tending towards removal of this as a universal benefit (tax breaks and auto enrolment). Call it fun money if you get it.

Now is a fairly good time to invest as prices are low. Cost averaging through regular investment is a more comfortable way to do things, it smooths the highs and lows. 

As to where to invest, up to you, have a fun pot where you can play trader with bitcoin etc if you wish but keep it small and don't get carried away. It is casino stuff. You can also use the fun pot perhaps more sensibly playing disaster capitalist. CEO of large Corp caught in coke orgy, shares plummet, buy and profit from recovery. Shell have a disastrous oil spill, same again. Keep this all small, don't bet your retirement on it. Dare I say this might be a good time to buy stocks dependent on Russia if you have long enough to wait.

Good luck. 

6
OP JLS 31 May 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Cheers.

In reply to montyjohn:

The full state pension is capped at 35 years of contributions though. You don't get any more back if you go over those 35....so it's not necessarily a slam dunk to buy missing years. 

1
 montyjohn 31 May 2022
In reply to midgen:

> The full state pension is capped at 35 years of contributions though.

Absolutely, please nobody accidentally go above and beyond what's needed.

I'd hope the website warns you if you're about to do this but I somehow doubt.

I also thought I heart they were going to increase it from 35 but can't seem to find it now.

In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Now is a fairly good time to invest as prices are low. 

With you until here. Even after recent falls, asset prices are high, in historic terms.

3
In reply to MG:

I bow to your knowledge, I was working on assumption, going on the drop I have seen in my funds. 

Post edited at 21:20
 Ian W 31 May 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> Absolutely, please nobody accidentally go above and beyond what's needed.

> I'd hope the website warns you if you're about to do this but I somehow doubt.

> I also thought I heart they were going to increase it from 35 but can't seem to find it now.

I think this has been mooted twice recently; firstly when the pension age was increased, but the idea was dropped when they realised people would automatically pay more via longer working life and the increase in pension age was unpopular enough anyway, and also as a possible alternative / add on to the increase in NI rates / social care levy when announced last year. I think the problem was that the money was needed now, rather than have to wait.....

 Rob Parsons 31 May 2022
In reply to midgen:

> The full state pension is capped at 35 years of contributions though. You don't get any more back if you go over those 35....so it's not necessarily a slam dunk to buy missing years. 

It gets complicated. If your workplace pension was contracted out of SERPS (when SERPS still existed) then you might well need to have over 35 years for a full state pension - in which case buying missing years might still apply.

The way to get a definitive statement about your own position on this is to go to the website https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension and see what it tells you.

In reply to montyjohn:

So in my record I have 2 years that are "not yet full" when I was 17 & 18 and in full time education. It tells me I can't top these up as too late, but surely I shouldn't need to as I was in FTE

 Rob Parsons 31 May 2022
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> So in my record I have 2 years that are "not yet full" when I was 17 & 18 and in full time education. It tells me I can't top these up as too late, but surely I shouldn't need to as I was in FTE

You can only pay for missing years in a window which currently goes back to to 2006 - so that's presumably why you're being told it's too late.

Note that, from April 2023, the window is being reduced to the previous six years only.

 Darkinbad 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> It gets complicated. If your workplace pension was contracted out of SERPS (when SERPS still existed) then you might well need to have over 35 years for a full state pension - in which case buying missing years might still apply.

> The way to get a definitive statement about your own position on this is to go to the website https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension and see what it tells you.

Indeed. I have 36 years of full contributions but I still need another 4 years to get the full state pension. I have been living in Australia for the past 16 years but I pay voluntary contributions (Type 2) to keep my contributions record up to date (this is great value - only 3 pounds a week). OTOH, Australia does not have a reciprocal tax agreement with the UK so my pension, when I get it, will not be index-linked Hopefully inflation will have dropped off again by then.

 wercat 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Steve Wetton:

or  the reserves that used to be called TAVR

 wercat 01 Jun 2022
In reply to midgen:

> The full state pension is capped at 35 years of contributions though. You don't get any more back if you go over those 35....so it's not necessarily a slam dunk to buy missing years. 

that's a bit of a simplification.   there can be circumstances where topping up to more years will increase your pension - it depends on where the gaps in your record are and how long your contribution history is as there are two sets of rules following the revision to pensions some years back

there is a reason why I know this

Post edited at 08:39
 montyjohn 01 Jun 2022
In reply to balmybaldwin:

> So in my record I have 2 years that are "not yet full" when I was 17 & 18 and in full time education. It tells me I can't top these up as too late, but surely I shouldn't need to as I was in FTE

Your profile says you're 33 so you turned 18 before 2010 (which is when they canned it) so you should have got them. If your further education was private maybe this hasn't been communicated correctly. It's worth raising a query. Basic info here.

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/national-insurance-manual/nim41210

 mutt 01 Jun 2022
In reply to JLS:

inflation is a temporary phenomena being the rate of change of prices. You 1975 example is on point. Yes it hurts at the time particularly if you are on a low fixed income but prices don't continually escalate because demand drops, so supply side surplus makes prices stabalise.

And assuming you are 68 or so your requirements for money will likely drop over the years. when you are 80 you'll only need to get to the library to borrow books. That's the usual pattern but not knowing anything about your circumstances ......

3
 Wainers44 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> It gets complicated. If your workplace pension was contracted out of SERPS (when SERPS still existed) then you might well need to have over 35 years for a full state pension - in which case buying missing years might still apply.

> The way to get a definitive statement about your own position on this is to go to the website https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension and see what it tells you.

Thanks for the link. I checked, and 41 years of full contributions just made me feel shockingly old!!!

It mentions the period I was contracted out of SERPS but says that I can't improve my entitlement anyway. 

OP JLS 01 Jun 2022
In reply to mutt:

>"Yes it hurts at the time particularly if you are on a low fixed income but prices don't continually escalate because demand drops, so supply side surplus makes prices stabilise."

Doesn't it hurt forever if your income is fixed with no indexing?

If your £10k pension is within a year suddenly only worth £7.5k then even if inflation drops to back to 2% you are never going to get the value of your pension back to pre-shock levels. 

My takeaway is that if any pension projection is not indexed to, on average, track inflation then it is not worth a jot. My difficulty is being realistic about the net value of future fund growth from investment minus erosion of value due to inflation.

The consensus of the thread seems to be, on average growth will always out strip inflation.

My next thought is, do I really have the expertise to ensure my funds are always well invested. Will it be worth paying 1% to a wealth management company to ensure good investment?

In reply to JLS

> My next thought is, do I really have the expertise to ensure my funds are always well invested. Will it be worth paying 1% to a wealth management company to ensure good investment?

Worth noting that 1% here means 1% of your capital. If you assume average growth of 4%, the fee is actually 25% of that!

In reply to JLS:

I have an AVC that gives me a flat £55/month after tax. But it's not inflation linked.  That's been okay for the last few years but now I think I should access the pot and do something else with the money. Any tips welcome?

In reply to Pete Pozman:

Looks like the advice has already been given above. 

 Inhambane 01 Jun 2022
In reply to JLS:

I found a very useful flow chart on reddit uk personal finance 

https://flowchart.ukpersonal.finance/

with the general principles being (age dependent) 

  • pay off debts
  • max out tax free savings (SS ISA and Pension)
  • safety blanket
  • invest in index funds
Post edited at 10:51
 UKB Shark 01 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> I also put a bit of money into the FTSE100 index, which on average returns 7% (ignoring inflation) just to have a feeling of diversity.

That feeling might be misplaced depending on what your Aviva pension is invested in

 PaulW 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Inhambane:

totally agree apart from I would put safety blanket a bit higher

 montyjohn 01 Jun 2022
In reply to UKB Shark:

> I also put a bit of money into the FTSE100 index, which on average returns 7% (ignoring inflation) just to have a feeling of diversity.

> That feeling might be misplaced depending on what your Aviva pension is invested in

I know, and that's exactly why I used the word "feeling". My work pension has really been a pay and forget deal. We can adjust risk etc but I couldn't decide what to change things to, and on the whole felt the default was about right and haven't touched or checked it since.

I had planned to make specific investments in stocks, even thought about crypto (glad I didn't looking at recent problems), but I really didn't want to have the overly manage things and worry about selling and buying at the wrong times, so I then looked at managed funds, but didn't find they performed any better than index funds so I went with the safe and lazy investment option.

 steve taylor 01 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> Oh, and you have any gaps in the NI contributes, buy them.

> Can't remember what they cost (might be £800 per year?), but they pay for themselves in 3 or 4 years depending on your after retirement tax bracket. Best reliable investment you can make.

But in the words of an HMRC telephone operator, maybe don't buy them until just before you retire - what if you drop dead the day after paying them?

 montyjohn 01 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulW:

> totally agree apart from I would put safety blanket a bit higher

I'm don't think I quite agree for my circumstances. I have about 1 or 2 months spare in the bank and keep it fairly tight.

If things go wrong work wise, or unknown expense, I'll sell some index funds. That way, all my money is working as hard as it can with the level of risk I've allowed. Any money in the bank that doesn't need to be there is absolutely going to loose value.

If I was only investing in a pension, then yes, safety blanket would be very important.

 Rob Parsons 01 Jun 2022
In reply to steve taylor:

> But in the words of an HMRC telephone operator, maybe don't buy them until just before you retire - what if you drop dead the day after paying them?

You don't have to buy them until the day you start taking the state pension (which might well be long after you retire.)

But note that:

1. the rules on buying them change in April 2023 (as I mentioned above);

2. the rules on buying them can of course change at any time, should the Government decide that.

So if you think you do want to buy them, consider doing so while the existing rules and rates apply.

As for the risk of 'dropping dead' after you've ponied up the money - that applies to any pension arrangement: you could buy an life-long annuity for, say, £500k - and then drop dead the following day.

Post edited at 11:34
 montyjohn 01 Jun 2022
In reply to steve taylor:

> But in the words of an HMRC telephone operator, maybe don't buy them until just before you retire - what if you drop dead the day after paying them?

Remember you'll only be able to buy 6 years just before you retire.

I would suggest unless you absolutely know you won't live long to always invest assuming you're going to live a while. You won't care about your lost investments when you're dead. 

As for when to buy, you need to estimate how many you will have when you plan to stop working. If you're planning to retire early, you can always buy them after you retire assuming you'll have the funds. If you've already got a lot of gaps that you can't buy because they are too long in the past, then you need to be very careful that you don't let more go that could be bought before it's too late.

Also, worth remembering, if you looked after kids, this counts too, but you may need to make enquirers to get them added.

OP JLS 01 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

>"Worth noting that 1% here means 1% of your capital. If you assume average growth of 4%, the fee is actually 25% of that!"

Yeah, I had realised that. It seems an enormous amount but I've calculated that to live in the manner I've become accustomed, I need someone to delivery a return of 3% (minus 1% fees i.e. 2%) above inflation. Say 7% return with inflation at 4% or 6% return with inflation at 3%.

I'm hoping these are realistic figures and I'm not just dreaming...

If I get 8% return with 2.5% inflation the drinks are on me!

 magma 01 Jun 2022
In reply to JLS:

last time i looked i was short on my nat insurance payments for full pension (don't have to pay if low earning). should i try pay recent years to try to get to full pension (not an easy thing to do) or not bother?

Post edited at 14:41
 RobAJones 01 Jun 2022
In reply to magma:

>  should i try pay recent years to try to get to full pension (not an easy thing to do) or not bother?

If you can, yes. The most it will cost is about £800, it might be less if you have paid some NI during the year. It will increase your pension by nearly 3%  currently about £300 a year, so more than pay for itself after 3 years. 

 montyjohn 01 Jun 2022
In reply to magma:

> last time i looked i was short on my nat insurance payments for full pension

I assume you'll still be short by the time you reach your predicted retirement age. If yes, then as RobAJones says.

If not, then obviously gain them by paying NI as you work.

If you're about to retire now, and you can't afford them, then you'd be better off taking out a loan to pay for them (not one of these silly 1500000% pay day loans, I'm equity release or similar so <5%).

The return on voluntary NI contributions is about 35% so any loan under this rate and you should be quids in. Then once the loan is paid of, it's free money you otherwise wouldn't have had.

 magma 01 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

if only i could make a voluntary NI contribution- not an option when i fill in my tax returns. have contacted them but not heard back..

 Moacs 01 Jun 2022
In reply to JLS:

> >"Yes it hurts at the time particularly if you are on a low fixed income but prices don't continually escalate because demand drops, so supply side surplus makes prices stabilise."

> Doesn't it hurt forever if your income is fixed with no indexing?

> If your £10k pension is within a year suddenly only worth £7.5k then even if inflation drops to back to 2% you are never going to get the value of your pension back to pre-shock levels. 

> My takeaway is that if any pension projection is not indexed to, on average, track inflation then it is not worth a jot. My difficulty is being realistic about the net value of future fund growth from investment minus erosion of value due to inflation.

> The consensus of the thread seems to be, on average growth will always out strip inflation.

> My next thought is, do I really have the expertise to ensure my funds are always well invested. Will it be worth paying 1% to a wealth management company to ensure good investment?

Roughly 75% of managed funds underperform the market. Get trackers (or ETFs) with geographic spread, the lowest fees you can find and don't deal in and out. Fees as low as 0.06%

A couple of things to note:

- far east markets are a bit inefficient in smaller size companies (some would say fraudulently so on occasion).  A tracker there should be mid size caps and upwards

- larger companies tend to be quite geographically spread anyway

- beware some indices carry a lot of the top few stocks (Nasdaq for example is essentially Google + Facebook + Twitter + ?Tesla + Amazon)

- for the truly long term, demographics matters - lots of young people. The US has a good demographic profile

One final thought though.  Growth fuelled by easy money supply has been a successful model for a very long time globally. Arguably the model is quite flawed and unsustainable.  But we don't have a better one so we keep using it.  At some point that will be a significant problem.

 neilh 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Moacs:

How many EFT fund are there in the market ?

you only have to look at say Black Rocks list to understand there are lots of different ones . All follow different set ups . So when people say put it in an EFT It’s just confusion marketing  as much as discretionary managed funds are now. 

So I defy any adviser to come up with a reasonable list. 

 magma 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Moacs:

does that mean you're shorting on bitcoin?

 Moacs 01 Jun 2022
In reply to magma:

Wouldn't touch it

 Moacs 01 Jun 2022
In reply to neilh:

Sure, so just pick one with a balance you like

 neilh 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Moacs:

"What you like" is a bad investment choice and illustrates the sort of poor thinking on these type of products.

About the only advantage of an EFT is you can buy or sell it quickly and maybe lower cost in terms of fees. Other than that it is just as poor a product for your average person who does not know or understand all the different indices etc which an EFT can follow.

2
 neilh 01 Jun 2022
In reply to JLS:

A wealth management company can never really ensure a good investment. What they do give you ( if they are good) is ideas etc to bounce around and discuss.That may help you be better informed and then help you make a better decision.

Of course the more money you have in the fund the better the quality of adviser...lets not kid ourselves otherwise.

You have also got to make sure they are independent. People like St James Place for example or your Bank dress themselves up as wealth managers and independent... when they are not.

Its a minefield and you have to be really on top of your game. I am not surprised that most people steer well clear and find it bewildering.

 Moacs 01 Jun 2022
In reply to neilh:

I disagree.  An s&p500 etf is a perfectly reasonable buy for someone wanting US exposure for example.

1
In reply to neilh:

> "

> About the only advantage of an EFT is you can buy or sell it quickly and maybe lower cost in terms of fees. 

Those are the key advantages, particularly the second!

 minimike 01 Jun 2022
In reply to Wainers44:

Before you do this, be aware that any years beyond 35 of NI contribs don't count as your state pension maxes out. Paying voluntary contributions for (say) uni years is money down the drain if you expect to get 35 full years by retirement anyway. Also consider you get age 16-18 for free if you were in college so that's 3 more yrs than you might be expecting from your full time employment start date.

On the other hand if you're part time or have big gaps for other reasons it's great advice.

2
 neilh 02 Jun 2022
In reply to Moacs:

And which one do you select. Can you list all the s and P 500  eft funds out there offered by different providers. 

Is it traded in USD or £ etc etc?

And you are assuming that a person knows what a S and p 500 actually is. 

 Moacs 02 Jun 2022
In reply to neilh:

We're going to have to just disagree on this. I think a person with the wits to ask the question and consider the answers will grasp the concepts. If they don't they won't buy. We're also going to disagree on how much real difference there is in 57 flavours. As you said in an earlier post, even professional advice is just ideas. It's all personal choices in the end

 wildebeeste 02 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

I'm  continually buying through my work's deferred compensation scheme. Time in the market beats timing the market etc. It is impossible to know if you're really at the top or the bottom. I could put off buying for a couple of years because things are high, and then lose returns I could have been having (albeit those returns are smaller because I bought dearer).

Am I misguided? Only been doing this a while so I'm interested in other points of view.

In reply to wildebeeste:

No one really knows, but on most measures assets aren't noticeably cheap in historic terms currently.  But as you say, second guessing future trends is a mugs game. Incremental purchasing and long-term aims is the only reliable(ish) approach.

 Offwidth 03 Jun 2022
In reply to neilh:

I'm with you that care is needed...... As an example someone above mentioned a FTSE 100 tracker. Unless the specific product includes dividend income (where the main growth has been recently) it's a rip off. I won't recommend anything other than getting good independent financial advice.

1
In reply to Offwidth:

They all do surely, one way or another. The income can't just be snaffled by the etf provider. 

 neilh 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Moacs:

All I am saying is that it’s incredibly confusing for most people and I can well understand why people steer well clear. 
 

when you have investment platforms that offer you a choice of 3500 plus options it’s ridiculous. 
 

Even the much praised low cost site of Vanguard has 95  plus the last time I looked.

it’s part of these platforms  marketing to introduce new funds every few months. 

In reply to JLS:

Trackers are referred to often above. These have their pros and cons.

Be aware that the mechanical nature of a tracker ensures that it buys high and sells low as shares move in and out. Managed funds apply a level of intelligence to avoid this (for a fee). 

1
 elsewhere 03 Jun 2022
In reply to neilh:

Introduce a hundred random funds, one of them does well. That's the one to market next year.

1
In reply to montyjohn:

> Oh, and you have any gaps in the NI contributes, buy them.

Definitely do this, you can do it any time before  claiming your pension. I just bought back 5 years for about £4000, which increased my state pension by roughly £25 a week. As long as I live another 3 years I’m in profit! (And remember the state pension is more or less inflation proof.)

 elsewhere 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Mark Kemball:

That's a 1300/4000 or 32.5% return and indexed linked annuity. Is it £800 per year of contributions regardless of age? 

Post edited at 09:47
 Moacs 03 Jun 2022
In reply to wildebeeste:

If you're buying a bit each month, it's fine

 RobAJones 03 Jun 2022
In reply to elsewhere:

> Is it £800 per year of contributions regardless of age? 

Yes, but as posters have pointed out upthead there is no point in exceeding the maximum number of years, so unlikely that younger people will know, for certain, they have to do it yet.

I was sort of in that position when I stopped fulltime work with only 30 years of contributions. I wasn't sure which way the rules will change by the time I'm eligible for a state pension. Will the £800 be increased significantly or will the state pension be means tested so I'm not eligible for it? A bit of infrequent part time work has meant that I've only need to top up my contributions by around £100 for the last few years to count, so it seemed daft not to. 

In reply to RobAJones:

I am a little wary of the current push towards buying up missing years.

Could it be a cash grab made by a "low tax" chancellor to increase revenue prior to pulling the rug in future? He wouldn't do that would he?

The sums make sense but the push feeds an element of scepticism. My plans exclude state pension for a variety of reasons including this. I am in my early 50s, I expect to get some of it, which will be fun money. 

 RobAJones 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> I am a little wary of the current push towards buying up missing years.

I must admit to being guilty of assuming that those asking about it are within a few years of claiming their state pension. I've now only got an couple of missing years. If the full £800 was required I would be waiting till much nearer state pension age, to pay. 

> The sums make sense but the push feeds an element of scepticism. My plans exclude state pension for a variety of reasons including this. I am in my early 50s, I expect to get some of it, which will be fun money. 

I'm the same age and have a similar plan/opinion. For anyone our age or younger expecting a state pension similar to the one currently available seems extremely optimistic. 

 Offwidth 03 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

Different types of Index tracker funds operate in different ways. Not all own the shares providing the dividends.

In reply to Offwidth:

I'm aware of that.  I'd be interested if you can find a FTSE100 (or similar) tracker than doesn't return dividends in some way (income or accumulation).  If you can, I agree it's a scam.

 Offwidth 03 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

You have lost me. If the FTSE 100 tracker is a synthetic type with no holding of the index shares (giving dividends), how would you gain dividend income?

In reply to Offwidth:

Typically using "swaps".  Some info here

https://www.justetf.com/uk/academy/synthetic-replication-of-etfs.html

"In the swap contract, it is agreed that the swap counterparty pays the index return including all dividend payments to the ETF. "

 elsewhere 03 Jun 2022
In reply to RobAJones:

A top up to make sure I have 35 years of contributions as I approach age 67 looks like a good idea.

 elsewhere 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> You have lost me. If the FTSE 100 tracker is a synthetic type with no holding of the index shares (giving dividends), how would you gain dividend income?

That's a bit concerning. I'll have to check mine. I seem to remember being given option to reinvest or take out dividends so I didn't realise dividends might not be included.

In reply to elsewhere:

They are, don't worry.

 Offwidth 03 Jun 2022
In reply to elsewhere:

Certainly in the information linked by MG they say they pay you the equivalent (presumably by investing your money and hoping their returns, plus fees, outperform the index income... including dividends... on average). I need to check more but it's looking like I was misinformed... profuse apologies.

 neilh 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

That option has always been in place even before the current Chancellor.  

In reply to neilh:

Yes it has. I might be wearing a tinfoil hat here but there has been a recent push towards buying missing years, it is a voluntary revenue raising tool, a gift to a "low tax" Rishi. 

Taking the hat off there is still a clear political slide towards removal of the state pension as a universal benefit. Personally, I wouldn't rush to make these payments. 

 elsewhere 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

The grey vote makes the state pension safer than most pensions.

Post edited at 19:42
 RobAJones 03 Jun 2022
In reply to elsewhere:

> The grey vote makes the state pension safer than most pensions.

At the moment, but the number of uk births dropped significantly in the early '70's. It has stayed the same/increased slightly since then, so for me and people younger I'm not sure we will have (or should have) quite as much influence when we are eligible for the state pension. 

In reply to elsewhere:

For now...

This is more tinfoil hat stuff but bear with me.

There are motions towards vilifying the baby boomers in the media, and particularly in social media. It is often apparent on ukc. Currently the grey vote is a valued commodity but its numbers and value are only going one way. As the boomers diminish, they become the target of a new wave of populist, seeing them as an untapped source of revenue. This is supported by the younger generations who wish to bring things down to their level.

Populists need a scapegoat, it is no longer acceptable to use creed, colour or sexuality. The euro/immigrant horse has been flogged to death. Lineup boomers, you are next. 

The result is it brings provision down for all. The post boomers (gen x, I think, me, maybe you?) suffering the most.

Just call me Nostradamus. 

5
In reply to montyjohn:

A thanks to this thread. I checked my NI contributions and whilst I don’t have 35 years worth at the moment, I am satisfied that I will have before I plan to retire. Although I’m hoping to retire ten years before my state pension kicks in.

Post edited at 21:55
 Rob Parsons 03 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Yes it has. I might be wearing a tinfoil hat here but there has been a recent push towards buying missing years, it is a voluntary revenue raising tool, a gift to a "low tax" Rishi. 

'Buying missing years' isn't a new thing at all, and certainly predates here-today-and-gone-tomorrow Sunak by at least 20 years (in my own personal experience.)

In reply to Rob Parsons:

No, it isn't new. I remember being offered to buy additional contributions late 80s to cover missing periods whilst at uni.

There has however been a noticeable shift in promotion and awareness of the facility recently. One could even call it marketing. This is what arouses my suspicion. 

Post edited at 04:31
 Offwidth 04 Jun 2022
In reply to elsewhere:

......so after some more research quite a few finance posts on index funds say most return dividend income (or a synthetic equivalent)... yet I can't find any information as yet on any that don't....very odd. It would be good if someone with more expertise in the area could comment.

In reply to Offwidth:

Where did you get the idea that any don't? It wouldn't make any sense - why would anyone buy them?

 Offwidth 04 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

Just search. I'm guessing the 'gap' might just be funds that pay out the dividend income.

I've admitted my mistake, being fooled by some bad individual information, as the risk side of synthetics looked concerning.

Post edited at 10:35
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't think synthetics are much used for basic.etfs, more esoteric ones. The article above notes a "counterparty risk", which is perhaps worth considering.

 neilh 04 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Maybe just that it’s because people are more aware that they can buy it back that they do it. After all you can get the info so easily these days about missing years etc via the digital platform.  Before hand you had to write a letter and you would get a reply. 

 neilh 05 Jun 2022
In reply to MG:

That’s a useful EFT forum. Although it’s a bit unclear about who is funding it. Ta for that. 

In reply to Wainers44:

> Unlike topping up into some company schemes,  making additional voluntary contributions.  Fine unless the company goes squit.  You then lose 10% of your pension as it goes into the Pension Protection Fund, but you also lose all of the AVCs. So check that out, before you make any extra payments.  Wish I had!!!

Are company pension funds not ringfenced so that in the event of the company collapsing they just sit there until the members take their pensions or transfer out? I guess if there's a deficit when the company goes under then the members will suffer that deficit.

In reply to JLS:

Another, slightly tongue in cheek hint.

If you are in a position where you feel an annuity would be your preferred option, start smoking. 

OP JLS 08 Jun 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I’ve got hay fever, will that help?

 Wainers44 08 Jun 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> Are company pension funds not ringfenced so that in the event of the company collapsing they just sit there until the members take their pensions or transfer out? I guess if there's a deficit when the company goes under then the members will suffer that deficit.

The deficit is the issue. Almost all older company schemes have them. The Trustees of the pension then seek to agree payments from the company to make up the shortfall. 

Of course if the company is in stress, those payments could push the company under anyway,  so it's a balance....but the employees in the scheme normally come off worst.

So company goes squit, pension in deficit and its transfered into the Government Pension Protection Scheme.  Now don't get me wrong, that's a great thing and probably the only thing we all have t*ssers like Maxwell to partially thank for.

Anyone in the Scheme, already drawing their pension has 100% of their pension protected.  The rest, the "deferred" pensioners,  like me, lose 10% of their future pension entitlement,  but the rest at least is safe.

 ewanjp 10 Jun 2022
In reply to Wainers44:

This is presumably just defined benefits ones right? I was under the impression that defined contribution pensions were essentially bullet proof (additional contributions and all). Mine are all just in global trackers.

 Wainers44 10 Jun 2022
In reply to ewanjp:

> This is presumably just defined benefits ones right? I was under the impression that defined contribution pensions were essentially bullet proof (additional contributions and all). Mine are all just in global trackers.

Yes that's right as far as know as the fund is worth what's its worth and the employer contributes an agreed amount and no more.

I can't imagine there are any defined benefits schemes left though......

 Rob Parsons 12 Jun 2022
In reply to Wainers44:

> I can't imagine there are any defined benefits schemes left though......

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/document-library/research-and-analysis/db-pensions-landscape-2021


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