Retirement planning is about taking control of your future, by taking steps now to get the retirement you want – and it’s never too early to start planning.
There is more to planning your retirement than relying on State Pension and workplace pensions. While these build a solid foundation, it is important that you consider what you want your retirement to look like and what steps you can take to get there.
Step one is understanding more about pensions and saving for later life.
The State Pension is a regular payment from the government when you reach State Pension age. The full rate of the new State Pension is £185.15 per week, which is over £9,600 per year. However, the amount you receive is based on your National Insurance record over your working life, so the amount you get could be different from this.
A workplace pension is a way for both you and your employer to make contributions to your retirement savings. As you pay into your pension, so does your employer.
Workplace pensions are arranged by your employer, and if you’re eligible, you will be automatically enrolled, meaning a percentage of your pay is put into the pension scheme every payday. You may also be able to top up your pension contributions each time you get paid. Talk to your employer to see if this is available for you.
Some workplace pensions are defined contribution pension schemes. If you are in a defined contribution pension scheme, you will get a statement each year from the pension provider telling you how much you have saved into it, and what you might receive if you carry on saving into it.
Through changing jobs, it can be easy to lose track of your workplace pension pots, and even underestimate, or overestimate, how much is in them. One of the simple steps of retirement planning is understanding what you already have, and some pension schemes allow you to combine past workplace pensions into a single pension pot.
If you have several pension pots, consider whether it makes sense to bring them together. Visit MoneyHelper for more information on how to transfer old pension savings into your current scheme.