Bridging pension: it’s welcome but it’s an LTA pain

It seems I may get a bridging pension from one of my ex employers’ DB pension schemes. Bridging pensions are also known as Temporary Pensions or Step-Down Pensions. I think I am going to have to be VERY careful to stay on the right side of the Lifetime Allowance without incurring various unwelcome taxes. Bizarrely, bridging pensions eat up 20x their annual value of my LTA, even though they only last for a few years and are worth far less than the main pension (which is rated at 20x). More info on this on an update of my LTA page.

Simple maths for DB pensions

For quite a few months I’ve had a pretty simple calculation that mimics the tables that you can easily find online for early taking of DB pensions such as the NHS and Local Government. I’ve realised that exactly the same maths will calculate transfer values. It should apply to any DB pension – indeed, the transfer value I was offered a couple of years back from a company DB scheme can be calculated using the same assumptions that the NHS and Local Government use. I’m using the maths to challenge a DB scheme’s excessive reductions for early starting of a pension. (A page on this is to follow soon.)

A busy year means lots of new content

It has been quite a year! The biggest news is that my wife has terminal cancer. In parallel my job has been made redundant. I’d planned on working for a few more years, probably reducing hours a little, but with the redundancy payment I think I can just about retire. So there’s pages to be written on all this, starting with redundancy, then my pension plans, and at some point something on the finances of terminal illness.

Funeral costs are in the news

I noticed a few articles recently in the news on the subject of funeral costs.  (Probably there’s something a psychologist would have to say about what catches my attention.)  The articles are mostly about the higher-than-expected costs, and that many pre-payment schemes fail to cover everything that relatives expect.  A funeral is certainly not cheap, but I’ve made a page with a checklist of funeral costs, plus a few of my thoughts on which items might be most worthwhile.

Budget 2018

I’d been expecting some pension allowance changes or some other significant shift, but it didn’t happen.  I guess a couple of my spreadsheets could do with the personal tax allowances updating to £12,500 and £50,000, and the LTA increasing to £1,055,000 but for now no rush.

The nice thing about the “steady as we go” type of budget is that it doesn’t mess up my plans.

I found a couple of great sources for all the 2019-20 allowances: