Lowes Magazine Issue 123


With the phasing out of final salary schemes in recent years, Lesley believes Independent Financial Advice has become even more valuable, as the responsibility is now far more on the individual to build their personal pension and their investment wealth to provide for their retirement years. Spotlight on Lowes people

Pensions are fundamental within financial planning, typically providing the backbone of a financial plan. There are many different pension products to choose from in the market and the rules and regulations around pensions are complex. It is important therefore that Lowes has a highly knowledgeable and experienced technical team to help our clients select the right products for their needs and to help them navigate the Lesley Allman . Lesley has over 30 years’ experience in financial services, gained from working in small firms to large life assurers such as Prudential. She has worked for Lowes for a total of eight years and became Pensions Technical Manager in May 2021. “We’re a busy team, dealing with a range of queries and reports on a day-to-day basis,” Lesley says. “We work closely with the Lowes Advisers to ensure the best outcome for our clients.” Lesley oversees the department as well as being very much involved in the technical work of the team. Over the years new rules and legislation, notably around tax, have made pensions ever more complicated instruments to use within financial planning. They were made more complex in 2015, with the introduction of the Pensions Freedoms. “Pensions have become an ever more specialist subject which at times needs exceptional technical expertise to resolve,” Lesley explains. “This is why Lowes has a dedicated pensions technical team. We are here to help with technical queries and where a client may have a particularly complex issue, we will sit down with our Lowes colleagues to find the best solution for them.” One area which comes up time and again Lesley says, is the Lifetime Allowance. This is the amount an individual may pay into a pension before they incur a tax charge, when they come to take income, potentially up to 55%. “Not surprisingly, when facing this kind of tax charge, we receive a lot of requests for us to calculate a person’s Lifetime Allowance,” Lesley says. “This has become a larger issue since the 2021 Spring Budget when the Chancellor announced the Allowance would be frozen until 2026. This means more and more people face exceeding the Allowance over the next four years and being caught by this tax.” This can be a problem many people with final salary pensions may not realise they have, Lesley explains. “Final salary pensions can be accruing in size from payments from the individual and the employer, as well as from performance gains of the pension scheme itself. This can build into a sizeable pot. When assessing this kind of pension, we will first ascertain the potential tax liability and then how that may be managed.” Other key and complex areas are switching pensions between providers and where an individual wants to transfer out of their final salary pension. “These both require expert technical knowledge, which Lowes’ Consultants and dedicated pensions team can provide,” Lesley says. tax and legal issues over the long term. Heading our pensions technical team is

13 Lowes.co.uk

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