Scottish Widows - 6 tips to get on top of your pension Robert Cochran

6 tips to get on top of your pension Robert Cochran

SW RC Blog

Posted by

PensionGeeks

Published on

11 September 2021

There’s lots of information out there on pensions and saving for retirement, but after being involved in Pension Awareness Days for the past 6 years – I’ve learned it’s best to keep it simple. So, here are my six top pension tips for Pension Awareness Day 2021 to help you get engaged with your future finances.

Tip one - If you don’t already have a pension, then the very best day to start saving into a pension is today!

Most people start a pension through their workplace. If you’re in your workplace pension, your employer will usually pay in too, and this helps to build your savings quicker. Although you can also take out a private pension through a pension provider, a lot of people have this as a second savings option and it’s also how most self-employed people would save into a pension. The earlier you start saving for a pension the better, and the golden age of pension savings is in your twenties as this means your pension fund has the longest time to grow. If you want to see just how big a difference starting early could make to your pension, try this simple calculator: Cost of Pension Delay Calculator - Scottish Widows

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Our second top tip is to know how much you’ve currently got saved. The best way to do this is by keeping track of your pension pot online. If for any reason you can’t login, you should look out your annual benefit statement which is sent to you every year from your pension provider. This will show you how much you’ve got saved and how much you’re on track to have at retirement – it might also include details of how you can get registered for online access and details of any pension apps your provider offers. If you have a Scottish Widows pension and either a Lloyds, Halifax or Bank of Scotland bank account – you should be able to view your pension details next to your bank account in your banking app, making it even easier to keep track of your pension.

Our Expert Sessions film can also help you find out the value of your pension and how to track down any pensions you may have lost track of - https://youtu.be/P-hL2sxSbV8

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Tip 3 is to check how much your employer pays into your pension and make sure you are getting the maximum payment into your plan that your employer offers. If you’re auto enrolled into your workplace pension your employer will pay at least 3% of your pay into your pension. However, sometimes your employer might pay in more than the minimum if you also pay in more. It’s definitely worth finding out if this option is available to you, and if you can afford to pay a little more to get a bigger employer contribution then go for it!

Watch our short film on how your workplace pension works - How does a workplace pension work? - YouTube

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Once you know what you’ve got and what’s going into your pension it’s time to find out what you are on track to get from your fund. Some people find pension quotes and illustrations really complicated but Tip 4 is try our Meet Your Future Self tool (www.scottishwidows.co.uk/yourfutureself) it takes the complication out of quotes and predicts when you could retire based on how much you’re saving, and shows you what you could look like when you get there! It also has sliders that allow you to see what effect different contributions will have on your retirement age. It works best on your phone and here are just a few images of me on the tool!

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Tip 5 is get to know the State Pension. The full State Pension right now (tax year 21/22) is just over £9,300 a year, however you’ll only get this full pension if you have a full National Insurance Track record (35 years). If you want to know what you’re on track to get and when your State Pension is due to start then check out this easy to use government calculator Check your State Pension forecast - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) – it even tells you how to make up for any missed years of national insurance contributions to make sure you can maximise your State Pension.

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Tip 6 is to take an interest in your pension – it’s your money and it’s literally your future. Don’t be afraid to talk about pensions. Take the opportunity of Pension Awareness Day to talk to colleagues and friends about pensions, use the wide range of free resources from your pension provider, the free services from the government like Free and impartial help with money, backed by the government | MoneyHelper and track down any of your old lost pensions. To help you know the questions to ask we’ve lit up the UK in the key pension questions for #PAD21 https://youtu.be/ZvtColBxhX0

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So there we are – 6 things you can do to help get on top of your pensions for Pension Awareness Day 2021 – if you follow these steps you’ll be more confident about achieving the retirement you want and if you aren’t currently on track then you’ll be more aware of what steps you can take to achieve your retirement goals.

To get the answers to your pension questions visit our new website for #PAD21. www.scottishwidows.co.uk/answers

Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn't guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.

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Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn't guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.

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