Planning your retirement takes less time than you think
If you begin now, it could make a big difference to your retirement savings.
Why not take an hour to watch videos from experts, get to grips with the pension basics, find out how combining your pensions might save you money and start planning for a more comfortable future?
Understand what a pension is and if a company one is enough.
Find out about automatic enrolment and how this can help you save for retirement.
Learn who contributes to your pension and how this could boost your retirement savings.
See how tax relief helps your pension and when could be a good time to increase contributions.
Discover what percentage of your income you should put aside and see if you’re saving enough.
Use the pension calculator and see what you might get when you retire.
Find out how you can combine your pensions and how it could save you money
Hear if ‘the ostrich effect’ threatens your pension and if money can buy you happiness.
Here’s a head start if you’re planning for a comfortable retirement
What is a pension?
I’m in a company pension scheme. Am I set for retirement?
How much money should I be saving for retirement?
Why does my pension rise/fall in value?
If you’re employed, your employer will usually have to enrol you into a pension scheme, if they haven’t already done so. They’ll do this automatically – and pay into it on your behalf alongside your own contributions. You’ll also benefit from tax relief on your contributions.
If you’re self-employed, you won’t be automatically enrolled, but you can still contribute to a pension and you’ll also benefit from tax relief on your contributions.
Find out what automatic enrolment is from TV personality and independent money expert Sarah Pennells.
An introduction to automatic enrolment
We've based this example on automatic enrolment, where the minimum contribution from 2019 is 3% from the employer, 4% from the employee and 1% in tax relief. This would be the minimum automatic enrolment contribution for someone earning £29,876 each year, which gives pensionable earnings of £24,000.
Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn't guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in. The tax treatment of your pension depends on your individual circumstances. Your circumstances and tax rules may change.
So far, we’ve covered some pension basics like automatic enrolment – and how your pension contribution could increase once you've paid in through employer contributions and tax relief.
TV personality and independent money expert Sarah Pennells explains tax relief – and how to make sure you’re in the best shape for your future.
Tax relief explained
Planning ahead for your retirement
To find out the meaning of other pension terms, read our jargon buster. For more in-depth videos and information, read our FAQs.
Source: Scottish Widows 2016 Retirement Report.
Next, see how much income you might get when you retire.
If you have two or more pensions it could be time to combine.
It’s never been easier to combine and take control of your pensions and we can guide you through each step.
Speak to our specialists for a free consultation on whether combining is right for you.
0345 608 0383 - You can call us Monday to Thursday (9am–8pm), Friday (9am–6pm) or Saturday (9am–1pm).
Or let us call you
For more information visit our Pension Transfers site.
Pensions transfers require careful consideration. They aren't right for everyone and there are a number of things you need to understand before deciding if it is the right thing to do. Our online service and dedicated telephone support team provide helpful information to help you understand what type of pension plans and guarantees or benefits you may have, to help you make an informed decision on whether transferring is in your best interests. If you do decide to move any of your pensions they will be transferred on a non-advised basis. We do not offer financial advice as part of this process and you will be responsible for making sure that this is the right thing for you to do.
If you would like financial advice we can discuss the options available to you either through a Scottish Widows Adviser or we can help you find an independent financial adviser.
People have already made a start
Here are the top ten cities in the UK for visiting our Change your life in an hour website.
55% of 30-39 year olds don’t think they are preparing adequately for retirement.
£24,156 is the average annual amount that 30-39 year olds think they’ll need to feel comfortable in retirement.
27 is the age at which people aged 60-64 think saving for retirement should begin.
33% of 30-39 year olds are saving nothing for retirement each month.
53% of 30-39 year olds are saving adequately for retirement.
Source: Scottish Widows 2016 Retirement Report.
Being in control of your finances can feel empowering. Peter Ayton, Professor of Psychology at London City University, explains why people find it so hard to start saving – and whether money can buy happiness.
Is ‘the ostrich effect’ a threat to your savings?
Does money equal happiness?
So far, we've recommended you consider saving 12% of your income for retirement and looked at whether combining your pensions could save you money. If you've used the pension calculator, you'll also have a sense of whether you’re on track to meet your retirement goals.
If you want to review your current plan, or put a new plan in place, your next step is to speak to your employer or contact an independent financial adviser.
A financial adviser will make sure you have the right plan but be aware that there may be a fee.
There are two types: Independent Financial Advisers and Restricted Advisers.
Both are regulated, have passed the same qualifications and can help you decide what pension is right for you. However, there are differences.
Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) – give unbiased advice about the whole range of financial products from all the available companies.
Restricted Advisers – give advice on a limited range of products. They may specialise in one area, like pensions, or advise on products offered by a limited number of companies.
When you first speak to an adviser they must tell you in writing if they offer independent or restricted advice. If you are not sure, ask.
You can find a full list of authorised advisers on the Financial Conduct Authority website.
To make sure you can complain if things go wrong, you should also ensure they’re regulated by checking the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.
You may also find these websites useful:
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We hope you agree that planning your retirement takes less time than you think – and that you’ve learned a lot in just an hour.