Important Information - The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.
IF you started the new year with plans to make 2022 the year you boost your pension savings, then here are five ways to make the task simpler, quicker and cheaper.
1. Make it quick
The annual pension allowance enables you to save as much as £40,000 or up to 100% of your annual earnings every year (if it is lower). So if you've been fortunate enough to have started 2022 with a bonus, an unexpected windfall or inherited a lump sum, then that’s a quick and easy way to super-boost your 2022 pension savings.
Don’t forget ‘carry forward’ too, which allows you to contribute more - using unused allowance from the previous three years - and still keep all the tax benefits that come from pension savings.
2. Make it easy
Make sure you’re getting every penny you can out of your employer. If your employer offers to match any additional contributions you make, then take them up on it.
It’s a cheap and easy way to super-boost your pension savings. So if they will match (or maybe even beat) your additional contributions, then it’s well worth taking them up on it by taking your additional contributions to the max to benefit from the additional top-up you’ll then get from your employer. After all, that’s free money they’re giving you.
3. Make it cheaper
Don’t forget to claim higher or additional rate relief via your tax return. Basic rate tax relief is added automatically, but you need to claim higher rate relief back yourself via self-assessment.
And it’s well worth it. If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer then you may be able to claim back a further 20% or 25%, making pension saving even cheaper. For every £10,000 you save into your pension you could find it only costs you £6,000 or even as low as £5,500, if you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer.
Make sure you claim by 31 January for the previous tax year.
4. Make it quick and easy
If your employer allows you to make pension contributions via salary sacrifice you can both save on the amount of income tax you pay and boost your pension savings, in one fell swoop.
5. Make it work for you
Even if you’re not earning you can still keep your pension topped up. Your spouse or partner can pay in £2,880 for you and with basic rate tax relief at 20% you’ll get a £3,600 pension boost.
And if you’re eligible, make sure you claim child benefit, even if you or your spouse/partner earn over the threshold, because that way your state pension records are complete, meaning you won’t be left with gaps that could mean you are entitled to less when you reach state retirement age.