WEDNESDAY, JULY 18: The Argus Group announced yesterday the appointment of Helena Pimentel into the new position of retirement specialist to assist clients in becoming more prepared, financially and otherwise, for retirement.
In her new role, Ms Pimentel will act as a consultant to clients to help them understand their employer pension plan and, more broadly, to support them in identifying and achieving their financial goals in order to live the life they want in their retirement years.
According to a press statement, “the information and advice provided by Ms Pimentel will include how to design retirement packages and buying annuities. Ms. Pimentel will report to the assistant cice president, Pensions Client Relations.
“The decision to create this new role was based on new research commissioned by Argus revealing that almost 20 per cent of those questioned are ‘not prepared at all’ for retirement.
“The research also showed that the vast majority of respondents (69 per cent) are not making additional voluntary contributions to their pension plans.
“Worryingly, 5 per cent of those who hadn’t done so already, were considering applying to make a hardship withdrawal from their pension fund following legislation passed in August 2010 authorising this, subject to certain conditions being met.”
Lauren Bell, executive vice president, Life & Pensions at the Argus Group, said: “Through this research and our everyday dealings with clients, we are aware that there is a need for greater support for those approaching retirement, as well for those whose retirement is much further off.
“Retirement should be a happy and stress-free time, but achieving that requires planning. We are also concerned that people are making decisions about their pension based on a short-term outlook rather than taking into consideration their long-term goals.
“We recognise at Argus that the ongoing recession presents numerous financial challenges, but we want to help people to avoid jeopardising their future fortunes through short term reactions to current economic challenges.”
Ms Pimentel added: “In my new role, I am looking forward to helping my clients feel better prepared for retirement.
“Argus prides itself on offering a high-level of support to its pensions client, but I will be an additional resource to enhance our client service delivery by getting people to think beyond the numbers on their pension statement.
“I hope that by putting them in touch with a wealth of retirement planning resources and advice they can start to think realistically about the steps they need to take now to provide for themselves in retirement.”
Ms Pimentel has been employed with the Argus Group since January 2001 as pensions team assistant and was promoted to pensions administrator two year later and became responsible for administrating the pension plans of over 100 clients.
The creation of this new retirement specialist role, the press statement said, “is in response to the market demands created by an ageing population, and helps to further position Argus as a trusted partner to those who are approaching or already in retirement.
“In March 2012, Argus launched a number of free online financial tools designed to help members of the public work towards their retirement goals.”
These tools, available at www.argus.bm, include a retirement planner, a retirement drawdown calculator and an annuity calculator.
In addition, Argus became a certified LINK partner of Age Concern earlier this year and as a result will be holding two, hands-on retirement planning workshops exclusively for Age Concern members between the ages of 50 and 65 on July 26.
For more information, contact Age Concern on 238-7525.