What your future might look like

  • Your time in retirement is likely to be 20 years or more.
  • The age at which you can normally access your pension will rise to 57 or later.
  • The State Pension age will rise to 67 or later.
  • The amount of the State Pension is likely to be lower. It’s currently just £175 a week or less.
  • You still have 20 years or more to plan and invest your pension.

Source: Office for National Statistics, 2017

This graph shows the life expectancy for a 40 year old male. With a state pension age of 67, you should expect to live 20 years in retirement, with a fair chance of that being 30 years, or even longer.

Planning your retirement

The first step is to figure out what you might need in retirement, and what your current pensions might provide.

What next?

What you can do now

Maximise your employer contributions – for your workplace pension, try to contribute whatever it takes to get the maximum employer contribution.

Consider additional voluntary contributions to your workplace pension – if you want to pay more into your workplace pension, you can pay in and get tax relief on anything up to your annual limit of £40,000* or up to 100% of your earnings if that’s lower.

Learn more about the annual allowance with our guides and videos.

Getting a pay rise? – think about increasing your pension contributions by the same percentage.

Make a one-off contribution - you can make a payment whenever you like and take advantage of the tax-relief. However, you do need to keep in mind the limits on tax relief. You can pay in up to your annual allowance (usually £40,000* or 100% of your earnings if lower) during a tax year and benefit from tax relief. You may be able to pay in more than your annual allowance and still benefit from tax relief by carrying forward unused allowances from the three previous years.

Regularly review your payments – as your circumstances change, you can easily amend your contributions as it suits you.

Use your carry forward allowance – once you’ve made the maximum allowable contributions in the current tax year ‘carry forward’ lets you use any remaining unused allowances from the previous three tax years (provided you were a member of a pension scheme).

In any tax year, you can only receive tax relief on contributions up to your level of earnings and higher rate tax relief to the extent that you have paid it. More about carry forward

Consider investing for the retirement you want – create your own portfolio or invest in one that’s ready-made. Just remember, of course, that the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

Bring your pensions together – depending on the types of your other plans, you may be able to transfer these into your Fidelity plan. This could mean less paperwork and, with your pension pots in one place, possibly a wider choice of investments. More about transferring in

Start thinking about the Lifetime Allowance - the Lifetime Allowance is a limit on the amount you can build up in pension benefits (excluding State Pension) over your lifetime that will enjoy full tax benefits. You can access our guides and videos on our Allowances page.

*Tax relief is only available up to 100% of your earnings or £3,600 (gross) if that’s higher. If you contribute more than £40,000 (the annual allowance) in the tax year you may have to pay a tax charge, unless you have unused allowance from any of the three previous tax years. If you have earnings above £200,000 the amount you can contribute and get tax relief on may be lower (down to £4,000) and if you have taken taxable income from your pension pot, using the pension freedoms, this could be £4,000. If you're paying pension contributions through a salary sacrifice arrangement, payments to your pot are treated as employer contributions. These are deducted from your salary before any tax or national insurance calculations are made which results in you having a lower taxable income.

How much can you boost your retirement savings?

  Basic rate taxpayers 20%   Higher rate taxpayers 40% Additional rate taxpayers 45%
Your total contribution amount Amount of Tax relief up to Effective cost as little as Amount of Tax relief up to Effective cost as little as Amount of Tax relief up to Effective cost as little as
£10,000 £2,000 £8,000 £4,000 £6,000 £4,500 £5,500
£40,000 £8,000 £32,000 £16,000 £24,000 £18,000 £22,000
£100,000 - - £40,000 £60,000 £45,000 £55,000
£130,000 - - £52,000 £78,000 £58,500 £71,500

These examples are not tailored to individual circumstances and are based on the rates of tax relief for residents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Rates of tax relief for Scottish Residents differ to the rest of the UK.

Remember, to receive tax relief, your personal contributions can’t be any higher than your earnings. The rate at which you can receive tax relief depends on the rate of Income Tax that is applied to your earnings, which will vary depending on the amount you earn and where you are resident for tax purposes.

Tax treatment and eligibility to invest in a pension depend on personal circumstances. All tax rules may change in the future.

In a workplace pension the tax relief you receive and the way your contributions are determined depends on the way your employer has set up your plan.

For more guides and videos about the Annual allowance visit our Pension Allowances page.

To check your plan log in to PlanViewer.

Find out more in our tax relief guide

Download our tapered annual allowance guide

If you earn over £200,000, you need to be aware of the tapered annual allowance.

View / download PDF

Download our carry forward guide

If you want to pay in more than your annual allowance, find out how you may be able to do this.

View / download PDF

Download our annual allowance guide

Find out more about the annual allowance and how it might affect your pension contributions.

View / download PDF

Download our money purchase annual allowance guide

If you’re 55 or over and have taken, or are thinking of taking, taxable income from your pension savings you should know about the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA).

View / download PDF

Bringing all your pensions together

If you’ve built up a number of pension pots over the course of your working life bringing your pension plans together into your workplace pension could make them easier to manage. We won’t charge you to transfer to us, but please note there may be exit fees or penalties when transferring from your existing provider. Once you’re ready, you can call us on 0800 3 68 68 68.

Advantages of transferring

  • Having one provider means one set of paperwork, making it easier to manage your pension pot
  • Access to our innovative services to help you manage and understand your pension
  • A wide choice of funds and fund providers
  • Potentially lower charges, with no charges for switching funds, to allow more of your contributions to work for you
  • Fewer retirement restrictions, if your Fidelity plan offers more flexibility around your pension options

Things to consider

  • The potential loss of any of your existing benefits including valuable guarantees
  • Keeping your pot below £10,000 could mean you’re able to take it all in one go under the small pot rules
  • Check to see if there are any exit charges or penalties if you transfer out of your current plan
  • Remember there is no guarantee that transferring your pension will result in a higher retirement income
  • You cannot normally access your pension until you reach the age of 55

It’s important to understand that pension transfers are a complex area and may not be suitable for everyone. Before going ahead with a pension transfer, we strongly recommend that you undertake a full comparison of the benefits, charges and features offered.

To find out what else you should consider before transferring, please take a look at our section on moving your pension. If you’re in any doubt whether or not a pension transfer is suitable for your circumstances we strongly suggest that you seek advice from an authorised financial adviser.

Download our pensions transfer guide

If you’re thinking about bringing your other pensions together into one convenient plan check out our transfer factsheet.

View / download guide

The value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment and eligibility to invest in a pension depend on personal circumstances. All tax rules may change in future.

This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular product, service or course of action. Pension and retirement planning can be complex, so if you are unsure about the suitability of a pension investment, retirement service or any action you need to take, please call our Workplace Investing Service Centre on 0800 3 68 68 68 or refer to an authorised financial adviser.

Pension money cannot normally be withdrawn until age 55.