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The true value of increased pension contributions

You probably know that the minimum pension contributions have increased for those who have been auto-enrolled. Previously, the contributions for both you and your employer were 1%, but since the 6th April, this has increased to 3% for you and 2% for your employer. These are minimum amounts only, and either party can choose to contribute a bigger percentage each month. Qualifying earnings The required amount contributed by you and your employer will be calculated based on your qualifying earnings, for 2018 this is your…
19th April 2018

Great expectations: Are millennials expecting too much from retirement?

Retiring early is the dream for many people. Indeed, according to research from Barclays, UK adults aged 18-34 are aiming to retire at 56, more than 10 years prior to their projected State Pension Age. Additionally, most want to do so with a pension pot of more than £300,000. Are these aims realistic? Are they arbitrary numbers based on ideals, or have millennials got a plan to fast-track the way they build their retirement capital? Unfortunately, most evidence points to the former.
19th April 2018

Are you pension savvy? See how you compare to the rest of the population

How much do you know about your pension? According to research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), many UK adults have a lack of knowledge surrounding their retirement savings and income. The results show that awareness and engagement with pensions increased with age, as over-55s are more in touch with their retirement finances than younger people. However, in three key areas of financial planning for later life, there are still gaps to be filled: 1. Reviewing pensions Regular pension reviews help you to stay on…
19th April 2018

The retirement risk assessment: Five pitfalls to avoid when you finish work

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Wise words from US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who is also attributed with coining the phrase: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Safe to say, he liked being ready for whatever the future had in store for him. Which is exactly the attitude you need to have toward your retirement planning. There are five threats to your financial security in retirement and each can be prevented with a mix of financial planning…
21st March 2018

Will you regret saving too little for retirement? Make changes before it’s too late

Will the money you put away today be enough to live on when you stop working? For some people, the act of paying into a Workplace Pension each month feels like enough, but it might not be. According to an international study by Schroders; 88% of retired investors says that they regret not saving more, meanwhile: a quarter of those wish they had contributed “a lot more” The average investor currently puts away 11.4% of their annual income for later life This…
21st March 2018

Where does your pension go when you die?

If you have not yet reached retirement, it can be easy to put off thinking about who will get your pension when you die. However, for more than 750,000 people, the answer is not the person they would want to have it. (Source: Royal London) This is because they have not updated their expression of wish form, and therefore, their pension provider is operating on outdated or non-existent information. What is an expression of wish form? When you first joined a pension,…
21st March 2018

Do you know when you can access your pension? It might be later than you think

Pension Freedoms. They’ve been around now for nearly three years, and in that time, they have revolutionised pensions, providing choice and flexibility to those approaching retirement. In fact, during the first 15 months after Pension Freedoms came into effect, over £9.2 billion has been accessed (Source: Gov.UK). However, amid the growing awareness of Pension Freedoms, a new rule has gone (for the most part) largely unnoticed. Currently, the earliest that you can access your pension pot through Pension Freedoms is age 55,…
21st February 2018

Six tips to tie up your tax year

It’s almost April, and that means three things: Spring is on the way and you can start hoping for sunshine Supermarket shelves are full of Easter treats and chocolate The 2017/18 tax year is ending The new tax year might not bring the excitement and celebrations (or bank holiday) that the calendar New Year does, but it’s an important time to make sure that you are up-to-date financially. Your March checklist Throughout March, you should check that you have made the most of the annual…
21st February 2018

State Pension: More than half of people don’t know what they will get, or when

Last month, we looked at the reasons people might defer their State Pension. This month, we thought we’d look at a more fundamental question: How much could you get, and when? Research from B&CE shows 52% of non-retired adults are unsure of the age at which they will be able to start receiving their State Pension. Further to this, 55% don’t know how much the current weekly State Pension income is. This lack of knowledge is even worse among…
21st February 2018

Understanding Pension Freedoms: A lack of knowledge could cost you

Ignorance is not bliss when money is involved, especially when that money is supposed to support your lifestyle when you finish working. Research from Old Mutual Wealth shows that: 47% of 50-75-year-olds either haven’t heard of Pension Freedoms or don’t know how they affect their pension and options Almost two fifths (37%) say that they don’t know when or how they can use Pension Freedoms Why does that matter? Can’t we just let them carry on doing things the way they have always been done?…
23rd January 2018

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