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At age 54 should I take final-salary transfer value?

This investor has been offered a £1.46m transfer value from his final salary pension, which he would like to pass to his family

This 54-year-old investor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has £625,000 in individual savings accounts (Isas) and cash.

He says: "I started investing 36 years ago, thanks to a great A Level economics teacher. I want this portfolio to provide an income for my retirement and a lump sum to pass on to my children. Being honest I just enjoy investing as a hobby. I have a regular salary so I am still in savings mode.

"I recognise that the market falls tend to provide buying opportunities and I tend to be a buy-and-hold investor. As an overall risk taker I am probably no more than a seven out of 10.

"The Isa portfolio, split between my wife and myself, generates an income of around £15,000 a year and we reinvest the dividends. The high risk in the shares is balanced by the low risk cash and premium bond holdings. Our home is mortgage free and worth £500,000.

"I don't have enough international exposure in the portfolio and want to add some smaller high-growth companies. Also, having worked for one of the main high street banks for many decades, I have far too many shares in the financial sector.

"Where my dilemma lies is that I am in a final salary pension scheme and wisdom has always said that you should never leave them. However, I am conscious that on my death the benefits halve and on that of my spouse the benefits are lost completely.

"I have three children all in their late teens and would like to pass the pension pot onto them. I have been toying with the idea of leaving the final salary pension and transferring the money into a self-invested personal pension (Sipp).

"Having discovered the transfer value is £1.46m I am wondering:

■ Should I leave the scheme?

■ Am I confident enough to manage it myself?

■ How do I allocate such a large amount?

■ How do I balance the risk against the existing assets?"

Reader Portfolio
Anonymous 54

Individual savings account and final salary scheme transfer


Income and inheritance


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