I know this could be a duplicate of other questions here, but I think I have a different take on it which may be of interest to others in a similar frame of mind.
I'm self-employed and based in the UK, and every time I've looked at a pension I've balked at the idea of handing over a large sum of cash every month to a pension company. It seems that all they do is take their fee and invest the remainder into the stock market which is a fairly volatile investment vehicle. The UK government provides an additional contribution to boost my investment so my pension pot grows much more quickly than any other investment. But all this comes at a price...
At retirement I cash out and have to purchase an annuity. The price of this annuity is driven by market conditions and my health at the time. I may not necessarily get a good deal and a fair chunk of my investment will be lost. On the upside, I do get a regular income for life (or some determined length of time).
But this is the kicker for me: when I pop my clogs all that money I saved goes to the annuity company and is lost to my family as any kind of inheritance.
So, would a better approach be to invest in a low-fee index tracker and wrap the whole lot up in a trust to provide protection against both tax and excessive spending by the beneficiaries? I should point out that I'm currently overpaying on my mortgage and that my house is the most significant asset I have.