Planning for retirement

Saving into a pension

You may not have ‘save for my retirement’ at the top of your list for ways to spend your hard earned cash. However, over half of the UK population are not saving enough (or at all) for their retirement. This means that over half of the UK population are facing ‘retirement poverty’.

Whilst it may seem boring and complicated, it’s important that you take some time to understand the basics and make plans to ensure that you are saving enough for a comfortable retirement. It’s also important to plan to ensure your pension lasts. We now have greater flexibility and access to our ‘pension pots’. It might be tempting to dip into our pension early but we don’t want to take too much too soon and run out of money.

What is a pension?

Most pensions are ‘defined contribution’ schemes, which are long term savings plans with added tax relief.  You make contributions throughout your working life, so that when you retire you can use those savings to provide yourself with an income throughout your retirement. Most people, who are already saving into a pension, contribute into the pension scheme provided by their employer. The amount you and your employer contribute varies based on the scheme you are in. Some employers provide ‘final salary’ or defined benefit’ pension schemes, which provide a pension linked to pre-retirement earnings depending on how many years you have worked for the organisation.


Up until now employers haven’t had to provide their employees with a pension scheme which they can pay into. A law introduced in 2012 stated that all employers must offer a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol eligible employees in it. This applied to larger employers from October 2012 and will be applicable to all employers from 2018.

Until recently it has been your decision to join your employer’s pension scheme. Now, all eligible employees will be enrolled. The Government has introduced this new law to try to ensure that people have enough savings for their retirement needs. The minimum contribution is currently set (April 2019) is 5% from you and 3% from your employer.

State Pension

The State Pension system changed in April 2016.

You are likely to be entitled to a State Pension. This is paid to you once you reach State Pension age. In order to qualify for the full basic State Pension you need to have paid 35 years of National Insurance contributions. If you do not have a full 35 years of contributions you will receive less on a sliding scale. The State Pension isn’t enough for most people to live comfortably on.

Currently, for the tax year 2020-2021, the full State Pension is at £175.20 per week.

You can find full information on this topic and more here.

Start saving now

Start saving for your retirement now to help ensure you have a comfortable retirement.

At retirement planning

Deciding how you are going to take your retirement income is probably one of the most important decisions you will need to make.

Care in later life

You (or a family member or friend) may need care in later life so it’s important to make sure you understand the options.


State Pension Calculator

This tool from will calculate your state pension age and what you might receive in today’s money.

Pension Calculator

This tool can help you see how much retirement income you might receive from your savings into your pension pot.