I am told a recent reunion of the Class of 1978 appears to have spawned what, in the context of that time, would be seen as a "Butterflies"-like relationship between two old school chums.
That led me to ponder (as you do); whatever happened to Wendy Craig? I couldn't believe my eyes when I Googled her to find Wendy Craig was born in 1934. In common with Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Alan Bennett, Kenny and Kenneth Baker, Richard Briers, Barry Humphries and Jonathan Miller!
All these luvvies turn 75 in 2009, and if they haven't already taken benefits, have to secure a pension income by age 75.
As we know, the most common way to secure pension income is by purchasing an annuity. But with interest rates at current recession-diminished levels, our septuagenarian troupe may wish to look elsewhere.
If they have a SSAS or a family pension trust, then there is the option of taking a scheme pension. With scheme pensions, trustees don't have to purchase an annuity to provide retirement income; they can make a commitment to provide an income for the life of the pensioner out of scheme resources. It is up to the scheme's actuary to determine how much income can be paid out from a member's share of the fund, based on assumptions such as life expectancy of the individual, investment growth and costs.
If the actuary's calculations are right, the member's fund will be close to zero on the day they shuffle off to join the choir invisible. In the case of our greasepaint-enhanced party let us hope that the actuary's powers are challenged for many years to come.
Whilst any unused fund would stay within the scheme upon the demise of a member, it cannot be used to directly enhance the benefits of relatives; yet allocation of those funds to unconnected members of the scheme is acceptable.
So Richard Briers could be doing Felicity Kendal (born 1946) and Penelope Keith (1940) a favour by establishing the Good Life Pension Trust. The delightful Wendy Craig could show her benevolence towards Bruce Montague (1939, and due to play the Wizard of Oz in panto in Brighton this festive season), Nicholas Lyndhurst (1961) and Andrew Hall (1954) maybe, in a Butterflies scheme? Though no matter how fabulous the Baker Boys, I can't see Kenneth, despite his credentials as first minister for IT, moving in the same circles as namesake Kenny "R2D2" Baker.
All joking aside, this need to commence pension at age 75 has never seemed more inequitable than in the context of Dames Judi and Edna, who are at the pinnacle of their professions, and at the height of their earning power. Insisting upon their vesting would seem to be the pensions equivalent of mentioning "the Scottish play"; bad business all round.
Mark Lisle is compliance manager at Rowanmoor Pensions
The views expressed in this blog are the individual's own.
First mentioned in Cridland Report
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