Recession - Facing retirement
What is the problem?
Workers aged 50 plus may be facing a recession double whammy: afraid they will be forced out of their jobs due to their age and worried that their retirement incomes will be decimated by the recession.
What can I do?
Know your legal right
If you are coming up to retirement then make sure you are aware of your legal rights. On 1 October 2006 the government introduced legal protection against age discrimination. This means that employers cannot deny a job, training or promotion to someone on the basis of their age. The law applies to all private and public employers and cover employees of any age. When it comes to retirement, employers have the right to retire people when they reach 65 without having to provide justification. However, they can only retire people below the age of 65 if they can show that having a lower retirement age is “appropriate and necessary”. If a company does decide to retire someone aged over 65 then they must give them between six and 12 months' written notice.
Carry on working
Should you want to continue working beyond the compulsory retirement age then their employer must consider this and provide a response - although they do not have to give reasons for their decision. Workers do, however, have the right to appeal this.
Can I afford to retire?
Work out exactly how much you think you will be earning from all sources (state pension, company pension scheme, personal pension scheme, savings etc.) after you retire. Ask for an up-to-date pension forecast from the Pension Service www.thepensionservice.gov.uk . Check that the forecast is based on an accurate record of the National Insurance contributions you have made over the years. If anything looks odd‚ contact HM Revenue and Customs’ National Insurance contributions office.
Seek independent financial advice
You may need to get some advice on all your financial options. Before approaching a financial adviser you may want to find out more for yourself. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) (www.fsa.gov.uk) produces a wide range of material to help consumers make informed choices about financial products and services. There is also a lot of financial information available on the internet.
Who can help?
Age Concern offers a range of information and advice services to help you in your retirement. Contact Age Concern Tiverton, Cullompton & District on 01884 255369 or 01884 242052 (Out of hours Answerphone) www.ageconcerntiverton.org.uk
Age Concern, Crediton & District on 01363 775008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens Advice Bureau
Whatever your problem the CAB can help. The CAB is an independent charity that provides free, confidential, independent advice and information on any subject: money advice, benefits, employment, disability issues, housing, consumer rights etc. Contact Mid Devon CAB at Tiverton Town Hall, 01884 234926 or Crediton Council Office, Market Street 01363 778410 (CAB logo)
The Pensions Advisory Service
(www.pensionadvisoryservice.org.uk) is an independent non-profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions, including state, company, personal and stakeholder schemes.
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
explains the jargon in its ‘money made clear’ website (www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk)