How to cope with financial difficulties

Pensioner in a playground for the elderly Will we all have to run faster just to stand still in retirement?

The prospects for our pensions seem to become poorer almost every day.

Employers keep shutting their final-salary schemes, both to current members as well as new joiners.

The general level of inflation-proofing that both public and private schemes offer, looks set to get weaker.

The government also wants us to work longer, and save more, to finance our retirement as our longevity continues to increase.

Living longer puts extra pressure on pension assets to produce the necessary income in the future.

Meanwhile, the prospects for healthy returns from investment in shares, bonds and commercial property look as volatile as ever.

The Pensions Advisory Service offers free guidance about pensions, and the Consumer Financial Education Body explains the jargon in its Moneymadeclear website.

Its site also features a basic guide to what to do with your pension pot once you retire.

You can read more about forthcoming changes to the rules on annuities, outlined by a specialist in the field.

The government's own website has up-to-date-information about the state pension and other benefits.

You can also read our guides to how you could be affected by the end of the default retirement age and plans for a later state pension age.

You can always go to the BBC News website's in-depth section on pensions which also explains the state of UK pensions in graphics. and includes a video guide to the different types of pension schemes.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Links to external sites are for information only and do not constitute endorsement. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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