A Pension is for Life not just for Retirement . . .

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As independent financial advisers we will be the first to emphasise that securing your own financial wellbeing when you stop working for whatever reason is a fundamental part of financial planning. However, for those individuals who are in the fortunate position of regularly saving an adequate sum for their own retirement and still have some surplus income, other goals and “nice to haves” become apparent.

For parents, that will likely take the form of a home, education and a financial “leg-up” as a young adult for their children.

The beauty of planning ahead is the earlier the plan is put in place, the bigger the goal that has the potential to be achieved.

The high cost of higher education

University tuition fees loom large in the minds of parents and young people alike and with the current maximum fee of £9,250 per annum in England and Wales this can add up to a substantial sum over three years when also factoring in living costs. Students are graduating with an average debt of c. £51,000.

For the majority of parents it may be a bridge too far to pay for even one child to leave higher education debt-free. What might be possible is to build up a pot of money that can substantially reduce the amount of debt that a young adult graduates with.

A £250 per month pension contribution in a parent’s own name over 22 years could build up, in today’s money a c. £140,000 pension fund. £35,000 of this could be taken as a tax-free lump sum and careful planning could allow the drawing of (in today’s money) c. £12,500 a year tax-efficiently. This could go a long way to paying off student debt.

A foot on the ladder

University isn’t for every young person and the funds built up may be a useful contribution to a house deposit or professional or trade qualification costs.

Parental control can be important. Whilst a Junior ISA is an alternative well worth considering, 80% of parents have said that they do not want to tell their children that the money exists. You can choose how much and when you are gifting capital to your children.

The added benefit is that this forward planning has the potential to provide a legacy decades after you made the decision to help your children who may still be in nappies.


At Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd we believe that very long term plans can make even the biggest goals achievable and ensuring that your children embarking on adulthood have a helping hand is one of the biggest and most rewarding.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on wwfs@wardwilliams.co.uk.

About the author

Sam joined WWFS in December 2017 as a Paraplanner. During his career, he has worked for a number of Financial Services companies, which includes working as an adviser. He is currently studying to achieve Chartered Financial Planner status.  In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his growing family as well as running and cycling.