John, company executive

Retirement Planning Case Study

John, who was a company executive, contacted us with a view to organising his retirement planning. His goal was always to retire early, so having reached his selected retirement age of 55 he wanted us to provide him with a thorough review of his exiting pensions and outline the most effective way for him to take initial tax free lump sums from his pension pots and then provide him with an ongoing income.


In our initial free meeting we discussed John’s retirement goals and income requirements. We also worked through a fact find with him so we had a thorough understanding of his financial circumstances including his tax position.


We then formulated a retirement strategy with John. He had three pensions in place with the largest being a frozen occupational final salary scheme which he and his current employer had contributed to until his employer closed the scheme to new contributions.

We recommended that John take a tax free lump sum directly from the frozen occupational scheme and a guaranteed income, which increased in line with inflation. We did not advise John to transfer away from this scheme as by doing so would mean giving up valuable guarantees which are attached to this arrangement.

John also had a defined contribution occupational scheme through the same employer and a personal pension that he had built up outside of his occupational arrangements. We proposed that John transferred the capital within these plans into a pension plan with an income drawdown facility so he could take 25% of the combined capital pot as a tax free lump sum and then a monthly income which would be taxed at his marginal rate of income tax.

We recommended a well-diversified multi-asset portfolio to sit within John’s new income drawdown plan. A multi-asset portfolio is a diversified collection of different types of investments such as shares, bonds and property funds from different geographical locations, for example the UK, USA, Europe and Asia. In addition, John completed a risk questionnaire so we could ascertain his attitude to risk and capacity for loss in order to ensure the portfolio we designed was consistent with his attitude toward risk.


We presented our proposal to John in a detailed report. In the report we included information on the past performance of the investments we were recommending, the strengths and weakness of our proposed approach, information on the income drawdown plan we were recommending and most importantly a detailed breakdown of all of the costs involved in implementing our proposal.

John chose to proceed with our advice and having set up his drawdown plan and the investments sitting within his pension wrapper, we now manage the investments on an ongoing basis. This means we watch over the performance of the investment funds and switch them when we believe it is necessary to do so. We also rebalance his portfolio in order to keep it in line with his attitude to investment risk.


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Disclaimer: these case studies are based on real cases but the names and exact circumstances have been changed for client confidentiality. They provide examples of the services we have offered previous clients and may not be suitable for you. Please speak to one of our advisers should you want guidance in any of these areas.