Should you save more?
No matter how close you are to retirement, you still have time to boost your savings. You can top up your existing pension contribution by paying in a lump sum or increasing your regular contributions.
Maximising your pension contributions before retirement brings an immediate boost in the form of tax relief.
If you have a workplace pension, are you paying in the most you are able to? The more you pay in, the more your employer may contribute as well.
You should contact your pension provider or employer (if you have a workplace pension) to find out the different options available to you.
Could you delay your retirement?
After reviewing your pensions, you could delay taking them until later.
Delaying when you take your pension could benefit you, as it gives you more time to save and allows the potential for growth, which in turn could boost your income.
Review your pension investment
If you have a defined contribution pension, the money will be invested in fund(s). You may want to review the investment(s) you currently have and be comfortable that these are still aligned to your attitude to risk now you're approaching retirement.
Some pensions gradually change to lower-risk funds automatically as you approach your selected retirement date; this is often called ‘lifestyling'. This change reduces the growth potential of your pension, as it aims is to protect what you've built up if there are any market downturns.
Your pension provider will be able to give you more information.
Find old pensions
House moves, career moves, busy families - life changes fast and it's easy to lose track of your pensions.
Your provider should send you a statement every year, but if you've moved house and haven't told them, it's likely that you won't have received it. Finding a lost pension may be as easy as making sure your pension provider has your correct address.
If you still think you have other pensions you have lost track of, there are a few things you can do:
- If you can remember the provider of your lost pension, call them and they'll help you directly.
- If you don't remember the provider, but do know who you worked for when you paid into the pension, call the company.
If you don't know the details of either the provider or the company associated with your lost pension, contact the Pension Tracing Service who may be able to help.
Telephone: 0345 6002 537
Pension Wise is a Government service that offers people over 50, who are approaching retirement, free, impartial guidance about the choices available. You can receive Pension Wise guidance online, over the phone or face to face.
Pension Wise provides tailored guidance to explain what options you have available to you and to help you think about how to make best use make the most out of your pension savings. It offers information about the tax implications of different options and other important things you should consider, as well as tips on how to get the best deal, including how to shop around.
If you are unsure what to do, or your pension(s) appear complex and confusing, you could speak to a financial adviser to help you.
Financial advisers are trained to advise you on a range of financial needs. Some advisers specialise in a particular area, for example pensions and retirement planning. Although a financial adviser will charge you for their services, it may help you make better decisions and avoid expensive mistakes.
What if I’ve left saving for retirement too late?
It's never too late to make a plan for your future. If you feel like you are behind on your savings there are still options available to you.