“Ooh, pensions, how interesting!” No one says that. But you need to take some interest in pensions if you want to retire, take it easy and have fun.
What pensions are about
For lots of people, the way to save for retirement is through a private or a workplace pension. You might have a workplace pension from your job - these are good because your employer pays in too.
You pay less tax
With pensions, you save for retirement in a tax efficient way. This means that you don’t pay income tax on money you put into a pension and you don’t pay tax on how much it grows. When you come to take your money, you can take a quarter of it as a tax-free lump sum.
They potentially grow more
When you put your money in a pension it gets invested. This aims to potentially grow your money more than in a bank account. But there’s also a risk that you can lose money. For example, dips in the stock market can make investments go down. You could get back less than you invested. Over time, the aim is that any potential growth counters the risks. This is why investing is a long-term plan.
How you take money out
If you’ve saved into a workplace or private pension, once you reach 55, you can start taking your money out. You can:
What you can do today
If you have a pension plan, are you saving enough to be comfortable? You can top up if you need to. If you don’t have a pension, see what Scottish Widows can do for you. Scottish Widows are pensions experts and part of the same group as us. They have a handy tool so you can see how much you might get using each of the options you have. You can see lots of other helpful tips on their Retirement Planning page.
If you already have more than one pension pot you might want to combine them into one plan to make things easier to manage. Visit Scottish Widows to see how they can help. To talk to one of their pensions experts, call 0345 608 0380. They’re available between 9am to 6pm, from Monday to Friday.
Other sources of information:
For free and impartial money advice, visit the Money Advice Service.
You might want to talk to a financial adviser. Find one near you.
The Government are offering free guidance on your options online, by phone or face to face from Pension Wise.