Take control of your finances – 10 tips to enjoy the retirement you want
1. Review your spending habits and consider if you have the scope to save a little more each month.
2. Look up your annual benefit statements – you may have saved with more than one employer’s pension scheme.
3. Think about what financial milestones you’d need to reach in order to increase your pension contributions and review your investment choices.
4. Find out more about your current pension plan. If you pay in more, does your employer match your contributions?
5. Track down old pension schemes using the government’s finder service https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. Or request contact details from the government’s Pension Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 or by post.
6. Check that your Expression of Wish form is up to date. This is a request setting out whom you would like to receive any death benefits payable on your death.
7. Check your State Pension entitlement. To receive the full State Pension when you reach State Pension age you must have paid or been credited with 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions. Visit the Government Pension Service https://www.gov.uk/contact-pension-service for information about your State Pension.
8. Add up the savings and investments that you could use for your retirement. A pension is a very tax-efficient way to save for your retirement but you might also have other savings or investments that you could use to increase your income when you retire.
9. If you’re getting close to retirement and the amount you’re likely to retire on is less than you’d hoped, consider ways to boost your pension.
10. Decide when to start taking your pension. You need to set a target date when you want to start drawing an income from your pension – and remember, you don’t have to stop working to take your pension but you must be aged at least 55 (you might be able to do this earlier if you’re in very poor health).