If you qualify then you can get a State Pension from the government when you reach your State Pension age.
If you are in your thirties it should be easy to work out how much State Pension you will get. If you have 35 years’ worth of National Insurance contributions or credits by the time you reach your State Pension age, then you should get the full amount of new State Pension. This is currently £159.55 a week, so works out around £8,300 a year. It normally gets increased each year.
If that doesn’t sound as much as you’d ideally want to live on, think about the ways you can increase the amount you’ll have when you retire. The State Pension forms a good foundation, but there are other things you can do now to make sure you can have the lifestyle you want when you retire.
Getting into the habit of saving early can make a real difference later, as you are likely to keep earning interest on what’s in your pension pot, and then keep earning interest on the interest too. It’s called compound interest. The earlier you start saving, the more time your pension pot will have to grow.
A workplace pension is an easy way to save for later life and the earlier you start, the more you’ll be likely to have when you retire.
Employers have to enrol you into a workplace pension if you are eligible, where you make contributions direct from your pay. And when you pay in, in most cases your boss and the government does too.
If you don’t save into a workplace pension when you get the chance, or you choose to leave it, then you’re giving up this extra money from your employer and the government.
When you are thinking about a new job or changing jobs, find out about the pension scheme too and how much your employer contributes to it. It’s an important part of your total package. Some employers even match your contributions, so if you pay more in, so will they.
By law, your employer will have to enrol you into a workplace pension if you earn more than £10,000 a year, if you usually work in the UK and you’re not already enrolled in one.
There are other ways to save too, including a personal or stakeholder pension. These are private pensions that you arrange yourself. And you can also save into a Lifetime ISA, which is an individual savings account, but you’ll need to open one before you reach 40.
If you are self-employed or don’t have the option of a workplace pension, then it’s important to think about saving for later life. There are still pension products out there for you and you might still get tax relief from the government.
You can get impartial advice about pensions from The Pensions Advisory Service. The Money Advice Service can help with advice about retirement planning, savings and managing your money. You can also talk to an independent financial adviser, but you’ll usually have to pay for the advice.
Your State Pension
Even though it may seem a long way off, you can check your State Pension from any age. Get an online forecast to see how much you could get from your State Pension, when you could get it, and if you could improve it.
Your online forecast may also help you spot any gaps in your National Insurance record. You can get National Insurance credits automatically if you’re claiming certain benefits or applied for child benefit for children under 12. But some others you may need to apply for. Find out more about National Insurance credits, including how to claim.
Your State Pension age is the earliest you can get your State Pension. It is regularly reviewed by the government and may change in the future, so make sure you regularly check what yours is. You may be affected by recent proposals to increase the State Pension age for people born between 1970 and 1978. People born before 1970 or after 1978 aren’t affected by these latest proposals – but everyone should continue to check their State Pension age as there may be changes in the future.