We recently held a workshop with members from different pension plans, and asked them what they want from their pension and the key questions they need answers to. Our expert gave them guidance that may help you get to grips with what fortune has in store for you.
Robin, 29 from Bristol
isn’t thinking about retirement.
When I started work for my company I got a huge pack of information about the pension plan dumped on my desk. I couldn’t take it all in and it seemed less important than getting to grips with my new job. So I don’t know very much about my pension, and to be honest I’m not too worried. I’ve got a long way to go before retirement is an issue.Robin
Our expert says
"You’re right that retirement is a long way off for you, Robin, but thinking about it now could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Investing even small amounts from early on could earn you a higher return over the long run than investing larger sums later on.
Bear in mind that saving for a pension doesn’t have to mean not living life to the full now. Just be realistic about what you can afford to save, as every penny counts. To get an idea of the money you'll need to continue your current lifestyle in retirement, have a look at one of the retirement modelling tools."
Janice, 41 from Liverpool
was one of many members with concerns about her savings so far and what to do next.
I’ve never put that much thought into my pension. I’ve had a few jobs with different pension plans and it’s only now that I’ve started to wonder what’s happened to the money I’ve paid into them. I’ve usually contributed the minimum amount – sometimes if I’ve had spare cash I’ll pay it in, but there always seem to be other concerns like re-decorating or the kids’ expenses. Now I’m not sure if I’ve put enough aside or what to do about it.Janice
Our expert says
"Not to worry, Janice, there are some issues to resolve but also some good things. First of all, if you’ve been paying into pension plans throughout your working life you have a solid base to work from. You might consider speaking to a financial adviser about bringing your pension savings from your different jobs together into your current plan, which could make your savings easier to manage.
At this stage in your life, it would be useful to re-consider the key decisions you’ve made. So you might think about increasing your contributions and changing your investments. I know people find investments scary but they don’t have to be. You can find simple tools to help you here."
David, 56 from London
feels more confident in his savings, but wants his pension to work harder for him.
I’ve been saving for most of my working life, and have taken more interest as retirement looms. I’ve found some of the modelling tools available online very useful but I think I need more now. Maybe some tailored advice. Should I change my investments? Should I change my monthly payments? Should I try to pay off debts like my mortgage before I retire?David
Our expert says
"Sounds like you’ve done well so far, David. In your position, I’d speak to a financial adviser who will look at your finances overall and put together a plan for you. An adviser can also explain your options when you retire, which is something you might like to start thinking about. Have a look at the Retirement Planning section of our site where you can find a lot of information about approaching retirement and living in retirement."