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Holistic retirement planning: a powerful tool for your employees

March 20, 2024

We all know that ensuring you can retire comfortably requires a plan. All too often, we go through our working life paying into a company pension, not knowing how this is invested, or whether we will be able to achieve our retirement objectives.

A way to stand out as an attractive employer is to actively help your employees understand their company pension, by exploring their options for funds and contributions and also giving them an understanding of what these benefits may look like at their planned retirement age.

By offering retirement planning education, you can show your employees (and the new talent you want to hire) that you’re invested in their financial future and want to provide truly valuable, practical support. These programmes help your people plan for the retirement they want, through interactive and educational sessions and access to NFP’s specialist financial planners for ongoing, one-to-one advice services.

When considering retirement, employees may want to know:

1. What type of pension scheme am I enrolled in?

Determine if you have a defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution (DC) pension scheme. This will affect how your pension benefits are calculated and the level of risk involved.

2. How much will my pension be at retirement?

Understand how your pension benefits will be calculated, including factors such as years of service, salary, and contributions.

3. What is the normal retirement age and options available?

Determine the normal retirement age for your pension scheme. Additionally, inquire about any early retirement options.

4. Can I make additional contributions?

Check if you have the option to make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) to boost your pension savings. Understand the tax implications and any employer matching contributions.

5. What happens if I leave the company before retirement?

Understand the options available if you leave your job before reaching retirement age. Inquire about transferring your pension to a new employer's scheme or a personal pension plan.

6. How is the pension fund invested?

Gain clarity on how your pension fund is invested and the level of risk involved. Understand the investment options available and any flexibility to change investment strategies.

7. What are the death benefits?

Inquire about the death benefits provided by the pension scheme, such as a lump sum payment or ongoing pension for a spouse or dependents. Understand any nomination forms required.

8. Are there any pension charges or fees?

Ask about any charges or fees associated with your pension scheme, such as management fees or administration charges. Understand how these fees may impact your pension fund growth.

9. Can I access my pension before retirement age?

Inquire about the possibility of accessing your pension before the normal retirement age due to ill health or financial hardship. Understand the criteria and implications of early pension access.

10. How can I keep track of my pension?

Ask about the tools or resources available to monitor and manage your pension, such as online portals or regular pension statements. Stay informed about your pension's performance and any updates or changes.

To help your employees to understand their workplace pension further, retirement education sessions will help to answer the following:

  • Do the illustrations from your pensions show that you have enough income and capital?
  • Do you want to take a tax-free cash amount or do you need higher regular income?
  • Do you need to include a pension for your partner, or only for you?
  • Will you need to work part-time to maintain your lifestyle? If so, what effect does this have on your tax situation and ability to continue funding a pension?
  • Do you have multiple plans with different benefits that you can take at different times? Do you need support to trace old pension pots from previous employment?
  • What should you do about any debts you might have at retirement? Which debts should be paid off first and could this be done from tax-free cash?
  • Do you have state pension forecasts? Do you know how to claim your state pension? Do you have any further entitlement to any state benefits like pension credit or housing benefit?
  • Have you considered all other sources of income you may have?

Lifestyle planning for retirement

The best retirement support is so much more than financial planning alone. Helping people to think about and design this next stage of their lives on an emotional, personal and psychological level is key to ensuring that our highly experienced, valuable employees feel empowered to make choices - sharing their plans openly with their employer, thus allowing everyone to benefit and to plan for the future.

Holistic retirement support covers a whole range of areas such as health, our identity, a sense of structure, hopes and dreams, communication with others and the possibilities of extending our working lives in new, more flexible ways.

Retirement coaching can help employees mentally prepare for this change in role and identity and share some practical tools and frameworks to help them adapt during this time of change. From reducing their hours or responsibilities at work, moving towards a portfolio of part-time and flexible roles, to balancing retirement and finding a hobby to keep them active and stimulated, coaching can help them consider all their options.

How can we help?

Our highly qualified Financial Planning Advisors at NFP Ireland can support you in improving the financial wellbeing of your people who are preparing for retirement, to help them take action to improve their retirement outcomes. Our people support and HR division, Connor Consultancy (an NFP company), can also provide crucial lifestyle retirement planning support services for your people, to help them manage the transition to life after work.

Our suite of retirement and wider financial wellbeing strategies is fully inclusive of everyone in your organisation, using a careful blend of modules to design and deliver educational sessions bespoke to the needs of your people.


Barry Graham CFP, Senior Financial Planner

Book a financial wellness chat with me today to discuss how we can help your employees on their financial journeys, and help you retain a workforce that is productive, engaged and happy. I look forward to speaking with you.

Read more about how we can provide support for your people’s financial wellbeing, or contact our team at
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