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How to boost your pension in retirement

As people live longer, many are finding their pension insufficient to meet their needs. Here are some ways you can supplement your income.


by Michelle McGagh on May 04, 2012 at 09:46

How to boost your pension in retirement

Building up a decent pension these days is hard, and many people are coming into retirement with less income than they would like. But there are ways to supplement a small pension income.

When income from company, private and state pensions are added together, the average pension income is £15,500 a year, according to Prudential. This figure has fallen from £18,600 five years ago owing to rocky stock markets and poor rates from annuities, which are the type of policy most people buy to convert their savings into an annual income, or pension.

Furthermore, one in five people expects to live on just £10,000 a year.

A lack of pension savings means there will be an increasing number of people who will be unable to live on their pension income, or will find that it will not cover the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

Independent financial adviser Arthur Childs, managing director of Guildford-based Arch Financial Planning, said those who have not saved enough do have a number of options to boost their retirement income.

Part-time job

One of the best ways to supplement your income is by not stopping work completely. The average retirement age has been steadily increasing as people live longer and healthier lives and financial circumstances prevent them from retiring.

According to the Pensions Policy Institute, in 1984 the average age at which men left the labour market was 64, although this increased to 65 by 2011. For women the average retirement age in 1984 was 61, rising to 63 last year.

A total of 11% of men were working past retirement age in 2011, compared with 8% in 1993. In 1993, 23% of women aged 60 to 64 were in work, and this had increased to 34% by last year.

Childs said working in retirement comes with a number of tax benefits, as over-65s do not have to pay national insurance contributions, and part-time workers have a higher personal income tax allowance.

‘Lots of clients have got part-time jobs. Some do it because they want to get out of the house and others because they need the money,’ he said.

‘Most people think now that they will do some sort of part-time employment in retirement to keep things going.’

He added that one client is trading Denby plates on eBay to supplement his income and ‘making quite a good living out of it!’

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25 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Anonymous 1 needed this 'off the record'

May 04, 2012 at 14:45

"" ‘People leave a lot of money on deposit where it isn’t growing. If they gave it to a financial adviser it is used to produce a regular monthly amount – they shouldn’t sit on it,’ said Childs. "

What planet doe Mr Childs live on? The only beneficiary would be the IFA.

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May 04, 2012 at 17:36

Is this regul monthly amount that Childs talks about for the benefit of the adviser or client?. Nothing against the Adviser getting paid as long as it is performance related.

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May 06, 2012 at 10:12

To Anonymous 1

You forgot the manager of the fund recommended by the IFA

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Ian Phillips

May 06, 2012 at 10:19

I agree with Anon1.......I thought "Lolly" was to help people with little financial knowledge ? This sort of uninformed drivel will only help them into the mysterious world of rip-off.......

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Dislexic Landlord

May 06, 2012 at 10:37

Im a proffesional BTL investor Ive been in this market since 1982

Ive made a lot of money which will give me a good retirement

Question ? Im 53 and would like to invest in other areas ie Pensions ,Isa,Stocks and shares

But I just dont have the faith in IFA,s Life Insurance Companys ,and Banks to take the plunge

I would really like to fined an alternative to property

I would like any suggestions on who and where to put my cash

At present I can buy property 30% lower than 2007 market and recive a gross income of around 10%

Nett income is around 5% after all bills paid

If anyone can give me advice I would be very greatfull

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peter hart

May 06, 2012 at 10:45

NSI index linked bonds when they are offered again. If you cant read this sorry.

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peter hart

May 06, 2012 at 10:48

NSI Index linked bonds have made a 5% tax free return over the past 15 years or so.

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Tony Peterson

May 06, 2012 at 11:05


Find an execution only broker and use some of your rental income to buy shares in those utilities that will be sending you bills in your senior years. Once the dividends are sufficient to pay all your bills, and much more besides, you will indeed have a stress free retirement. As I do now.

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Jo Public

May 06, 2012 at 11:18

Although many years off pension age, last year I invested in solar panels on our roof. If you think of it as an annuity, that would have been about 10%, index linked and tax-free. Even now, with the reduced tarriffs, the "annuity" rate is about 6-8% (the scheme having "worked" in the sense of bringing down prices).

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Rob Walker

May 06, 2012 at 12:16

Excuse me for stating the obvious, but does everyone have to dread losing their 'lifestyle' with a lower pension? A bit of encouragement on how to enjoy life on a lower income would do a lot to increase pensioner's happiness and prevent these people from somehow feeling inadequate. The people propogating this fear of poverty are the very ones who gain most from those who invest more of their money trying to avoid it.

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gordon davison

May 06, 2012 at 12:31

Well put Rob.

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Robert Grampian

May 06, 2012 at 13:22

Rob you are absolutely correct.

I recall a recent Moneybox Radio 4 programme in which a pensions expert who just happened to work for a pension company explained that in our early twenties we should all sit down with an adviser and work out how much income we would need to be be happy in retirement.This would thus give the pension premium figure needed to attain that goal in life.


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Dislexic Landlord

May 06, 2012 at 14:10

FAO Tony Peterson

Thank you for the advice I also belive that you can put shares in an Isa wrapper too that would intrest me too

I thin you are quite right about Utilities

Life is really funny I have a Monoply Board on the wall of my office and where the names of the streets are Bond St Oxford St Ihave placed pics of the houses I own

Maybe I should buy the Isa where the water co and electric co are LOL

What is the best way to find an exacution Broker could you recommend one please

THanks for your help on this one


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May 06, 2012 at 18:23

Dislexic, and make sure that you get paper certificates otherwise you will get quarterly or half yearly charges for the broker's fees on each holding held in CREST.

Another thing, if you hold shares in CREST, you lose your voting rights in the company to the CREST holder and have to rely on their integrity to get them to vote the way you want. On this I am glad to see that there are several revolts going on about the size of the directors snouts gobbling up funds that should be going to the shareholders and not to the piggy directors pockets, and hopefully will spread to bring down the size of the obscene rewards the directors have been voting themselves.

Furthermore, details of rights issues are not always passed on. Yep, I know some character is going to say I am wrong, but not in my experience of a similar system.

However, being a regular participant on these boards, there are many very decent shares brought to our attention, or even on like boards (eg Motley Fool).

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Tony Peterson

May 06, 2012 at 20:19


I agree wholeheartedly with eaxh point Snoekie makes.

It is not hard to find a stockbroker - make sure that the one you choose is affiliated to the London Stock Exchange.

As you get older, dividend paying shares are much less hassle than property and tenants. (Been there, done that).

You must be sitting on some tidy capital gains with your properties. Make sure you use up your full CGT exempt amounts each year. It is much easier to control your CG allowances with shares rather than rental property.

You should also be using your full ISA allowance in a self-select shares ISA.

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Jack Walker

May 06, 2012 at 23:06

Find it hard to understand that dislexic is asking basic questions on tax planning and people on these bulletin boards tell him to enter the even more complex world of stock picking and self select!!! 1) He self selects 2) It dosn't meet his expectations of 10% gross 3) He never invests again.

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Dislexic Landlord

May 07, 2012 at 07:42

Hi Tony

I have s share Deaing account with Halifax And I have just opened the self select ISA

So I think Im up and runing Now I only have to chose which shares to but My gut feeling is stay with the Monoply board and buy National Grid first and then add a another batch up to my ISA limit over the comeing year

Hopefully Dividends will give me a good flow of cash as did BTL

I will always buy property because I really enjoy the challange and I can touch property see it and I have total control

But I dont see the harm in putting in cash in Shares especialy when its tax free which is always handy

One other point can ISA,s be put in trust ????

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Dennis .

May 08, 2012 at 08:51

Interesting point about the Trust, however I believe that ISAs lose their tax free status when you die (I don't know if you get hit with CGT at this point on death). So sounds unlikely.

Remember that unless you are a 40% tax payer there is no benefit in using ISAs since divis are taxed at source and you might also be paying a platform fee (0.5%/annum?) for holding individual shares in the ISA. The real benefit of ISAs is CGT (whilst you are alive) which most people don't pay anyway. I have started putting shares in non ISA accounts.

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Dislexic Landlord

May 08, 2012 at 09:03

Ive been reading quite a lot on the ISA Topic

And it sounds a good way to invest especialy if you are a 40% tax payer

I know in this world we cant have it all puting and ISA in trust would be a good thing but I think you are right Dennis the tax free status dies when you do

NO can any one tell me a good web site to find good dividend shares

Thats where this gets complicated

I have looked at the shares below would like to know others views



National Grid


Royal Dutch Shell

Thanks for all your help guys

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Dennis .

May 08, 2012 at 09:16

I have been buying BT, Glaxo, BP and Tesco whenever there is bad news about them . Easiest thing to do is look at what is inside some of the better performing income trusts


Basically it's about the really boring stuff that people need to buy.

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Dislexic Landlord

May 08, 2012 at 09:43

Thanks Dennis

Ive always bought boring looking property so the same lesson may be the order of the day here

its a good tip you have there about the fund managers choice

this is all new to me as BTL was in the 1980,s

Thanks Again

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May 08, 2012 at 13:05

If you hold corporate bonds or bond funds in an ISA then the income is totally tax free and you don't pay CGT on capital gains either. I hold bonds in my ISA and shares/Income equity funds in a SIPP or low cost platform outsid an ISA.

Denis is right the ISA wrapper dies with you but the only tax liability at that point is IHT as far as I am aware.

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May 09, 2012 at 13:54

I have to criticise this article, as it is very superficial at the very least and did not bring out fresh, useful ideas. It is obvious that, if you have capital(a significant amount of it), you could invest it to get an income to improve your pension. But then, if you have that amount of capital, you dont need to improve your pension!(unless you are greedy and what you are after is lots of lolly in your old age).

Also, investing on Income funds, for example, not only is not going to produce a reliable source of income, but this is low and the stock market is unreliable (the footsie just now is just over 5400), and in this situation, it may be better to keep the money in the Bank. Certainly the author's advice to speak to a FA is blatantly wrong.

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Aug 08, 2012 at 17:50

I need to get the maximum income(MONTHLY) possible from savings in the region of £85,000 or so. At the moment I am having to dip into my capital to pay basic living costs. Any suggestions please.

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Lizzie Billington

Oct 26, 2017 at 14:04

Some really good ideas here! My parents have been looking for some alternative income ideas for when they retire as they have plans to travel and need a way for it to be funded! I've been helping them out a bit and came across this serviced apartments investment thing that some retirees are doing, and just wanted to see if it is a good way of bringing in income? It's something like you invest in a place in an apartment block, then the developer rents it back off you. Apparently it is better than buy-to-let because there are new restrictions in place to stop as much of it? There is this blog from Emerging Property I've found that goes into more detail but just looking to see if people can give me some more info on it!

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