By David Porter, Chartered Financial Planning Consultant, Armstrong Watson

MORE than 615,000 pensioners are on course to make investment decisions into old age but new research carried out by YouGov Plc suggests tens of thousands have not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), with seven in 10 people in retirement not having set up an LPA.

The findings, which coincided with Dementia Action Week, revealed tens of thousands of pensioners could be financially vulnerable in retirement. An LPA is a very important part of advance planning for a time when a person may not be able to make certain decisions for themselves.

Dementia is a devastating condition which strips a person of their memories, relationships and identities. That’s why it is so important that time is taken for advance planning, always ensuring that individuals living with dementia are at the heart of any decision to get an LPA or deputy, so they have the right to make important choices about their life that might come later.

Four years ago, an overhaul of the pension rules gave people the freedom to keep their pensions invested in retirement and draw an income as and when they like. Based on the latest Financial Conduct Authority data, it is estimated as many as 615,000 people have since switched their savings into ‘drawdown’.

In some cases, DIY investors may be managing drawdown without professional financial advice and could need to make decisions on where to invest and how much to withdraw, at a time when their physical or mental health might be deteriorating. But without an LPA in place, their families or friends would be unable to quickly step in to help them - without facing a lengthy court process.

Registering an LPA has become even more crucial since the pension reforms. Hundreds of thousands of people are now making complex decisions about their pension into old age, when the risk of developing illnesses such as dementia increases.

If you’d like help making the right financial decisions for your future, please give me a call on 01756 620000 or email