Same-sex couples do not always have the same rights when it comes to pensions, says John Clare.
It is as important for members of the LGBT community to prepare financially for old age by contributing to a pension scheme or retirement savings plan, as it is for their heterosexual counterparts. However, same-sex couples do not always have the same rights as straight couples with regard to the transferability of a pension to a partner.
If you are part of an LGBT couple it is important that you find out exactly where you stand, and that means reading the small print to be aware of what your pension provides for you and your partner. The devil really is in the detail and a failure to check this can leave the surviving partner vulnerable in the event of a death.
Of course, the same applies if you have life insurance and jointly-owned assets such as property. The reason many people ignore the detail is that they are put off and confused by the legal jargon. This is where a professional financial advisor comes in.
A good one will be able to explain in detail the terms and conditions of your documentation and answer any questions you have, as well as explaining the options available to you. The conversations involved are sensitive and require the sharing of personal and private information, which you perhaps would not normally divulge to a stranger.
This is why it is important to find someone who is sympathetic to your needs and understands the particular issues affecting the LGBT community.
It might be a dull subject, but with life expectancy rates going up, you absolutely need to get your pension game going. Still don’t believe us? Well, here are 7 Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Have a Pension:
1. You need an income when you retire. Obvious, but true.
2. The State Pension is €230 per week and you’ll be 68 before you receive this. Is that enough for you to live on? Especially since, by the time you’re of pensionable age, it won’t have risen with inflation and a loaf of bread will probably cost €200.
3. You get tax relief on your contributions (this could be an extra €40 free top up for every €100 you contribute).
4. Your fund grows tax-free. Take that, tax.
5. You get a minimum of 25% of the total fund as a tax-free lump sum at retirement.
6. You can keep control of your fund in retirement, and even take most of it out if you like.
7. You can pass your fund on to your family or partner after you’ve passed away. Isn’t that nice?
Find out more at Pension & Financial, email John or call (01) 541 724
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