Safeguard your nest egg

Pensions Supplement-September 2010

People are living longer and more active lives so now is the time to take control of your retirement planning, writes Rachel McDonald.

Much uncertainty surrounds the area of pensions and investments in these volatile times. Even before the downturn, Ireland was facing a future pension crisis due to greater longevity, population changes and low uptake of pensions. The recession, with falling investment returns, unemployment and lower incomes, has exacerbated this further. This supplement will aim to provide you with a better understanding of pensions and investments as a means of financial security planning.

David McCarthy, Managing Director or McCarthy & Associates Financial Consultants Ltd, says that people will have to educate themselves financially and seek professional advice if necessary. In the past, people often left money indefinitely in funds without reviewing performance. �Life assurance companies need to realise that the traditional unit-linked equity funds are becoming out dated.

McCarthy says that he has noticed a strong trend towards guaranteed capital investment funds which offer capital guarantees between 70% to 100% as people are more cautious. He says these investments have already got good returns over the last year and mentions one fund in particular, the Global Absolute Return Strategy Funds (GARS) offered by Standard Life which is attracting a lot of interest. He says that it is low to medium risk with no wild volatility.