Welcome to Whitakers Chartered Accountants

For over 75 years Whitakers has been providing excellent financial advice to our clients. It pays to visit us for a free consultation.

Whitakers Chartered Accountants is a firm of Chartered Accountants based in Cornwall offering accountancy, taxation and business advisory and support services to a wide range of businesses and individuals.

At Whitakers Chartered Accountants we provide a cost-effective, high value solution to meet all of your financial needs. We work hard to get to know you in order to deliver timely, individual advice on how to improve your business and personal wealth.

To find out more about how we can help you and your business click here for an overview of our services. To find out more about us click here. To access a wealth of information visit our resource centre or view our free factsheets.


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Whitakers is expert in a range of financial services.

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We have two offices located in the south west.

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The current hot topic

Retirement planning

Pensions and pension savers have come under pressure from a variety of factors in recent years. Those saving for retirement must now consider challenges ranging from the cost of living to the value of the state pension, and from the lifetime allowance to changes in the retirement age as they plan for life after employment. Here, we take a look at some of the issues savers are facing and consider some strategies for mitigating them.

The cost of living

Those already claiming the state pension are expected to find meeting the cost of living a challenge this year. This is because the government dropped its triple lock promise for pensions, even though inflation continues to rise.

Under the triple lock policy, the state pension increased every year by whichever is the highest of inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%. However, earnings growth, which was running at 8%, was dropped to create a double lock. The state pension will now increase in April 2022 by 3.1%, which was September’s inflation figure.

However, inflation is now running ahead of this figure, exacerbated by higher energy and food bills, which pushed up the cost of living by 5.1% in the 12 months to November 2021 – the highest rate in ten years. Additionally, the Bank of England has forecast the rate of inflation to rise to 6% in early 2022.

In addition to this, people now must wait longer to access their state pension. The retirement age for the benefit recently changed from 65 to 66, with an increase to 67 due in 2028.

Boosting the state pension

There are a couple of simple actions that savers can take to boost the value of their state pension.

Firstly, fill any gaps in their National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The full state pension is only paid out to those who have at least 35 years of NICs. Those who are falling short of this can boost their state pension by making a one-off payment to HMRC.

Secondly, it is possible to defer the age that the state pension is received. The pension increases by 1% for every five weeks deferred.

Frozen allowances

Private pension savers are also facing some headaches, not least the fact that the lifetime allowance (LTA) has been frozen at £1,073,100 until April 2026. 

The LTA is the maximum figure for tax-relieved savings in a pension fund. Where the value of the scheme is more than this when benefits are drawn, a tax charge can occur. This is of 55% of the excess, if taken as a lump sum, and 25% if taken as a pension.

Although, the allowance of £1,073,100 may seem high to many savers HMRC’s own figures show increasing numbers of people being brought into scope of the charge.

Alternative routes

To make tax-efficient decisions as regards any additional investment, it’s important to know if savings will exceed the LTA. If so, alternative investment routes, such as ISAs, or tax-advantaged schemes like the Enterprise Investment Scheme, may be preferable.

Multiple pension pots

As more and more people build up small pension pots through automatic enrolment with different employers, there is a natural desire to consolidate those savings.

Pension providers are aware of this, so we can expect to see more adverts and campaigns to encourage people to consolidate their small pension pots. This will almost certainly lead to increased competition between the providers and could create confusion for those looking to consolidate their pots.

Pension dashboards

One development that aims to help clarify people’s pension situations will be pensions dashboards. These are a digital service that allow people to keep track of all their pension savings. The roll-out of dashboards is currently scheduled for 2023.

Planning ahead

To discuss the best way to plan for retirement and the tax consequences of any decision, please contact us.

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© 2022 Whitakers (South West) Limited. All rights reserved. We use cookies on this website, you can find more information about cookies here. Whitakers (South West) Limited trading as Whitakers. Registered Office: Bryndon House, 5/7 Berry Road, Newquay, Cornwall TR7 1AD . Registered company number: 08413422 A member of the ICAEW Practice Assurance Scheme and SWAT UK.