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What affect will the credit crunch have on pension funds?

There has been an awful lot of debate about pensions over the last couple of weeks as the stock markets around the world continue to struggle. Talk of bailouts for the banks is all well and good but what about those on the verge of retiring, where do they stand?

There have been some real tear jerk stories over the last few weeks with many people coming up to retirement and seeing their pension funds decimated by the falls in worldwide markets. We are talking about people being forced, because of financial circumstances, to use their funds to acquire annuities now so that they can live.

Some people have actually seen the projected pension forecasts fall by up to 30%, from base assumptions just 12 months ago. The sad fact is that if you need to use your pension fund now, and are not able to delay taking your pension, there is little option but to take the hit. However, if you are able to delay taking your pension for a couple of years, by which time markets might have recovered, it is worth chatting to you financial adviser about the options.

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