You might not have considered retirement if you’re many decades away from it but don’t wait to consider your pension. The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll have to play with when it’s time to retire. You might be able to retire early if you start your pension when you enter the workplace, or you might be able to retire and enjoy a better standard of living. But don’t worry if you’re already working and you haven’t yet taken up the offer of a workplace pension as there are lots of alternative ways for young people to save for retirement including a private pension or saving through an ISA.
Saving money yourself through an ISA is a great way of saving for your twilight years. You can currently save up to £20,000 a year and there’s a little more flexibility with savings made into an ISA as you can withdraw and replace funds in the same tax year without affecting your annual ISA allowance.
A Lifetime ISA is another option. This is a great option because the government provide a 25 per cent bonus on savings up to £4,000. You can use that money to purchase your first home or dip into it when you get to your 60th birthday. If you take out both a Lifetime ISA and an ISA, the ISA’s £20,000 limit applies to both ISAs combined values. You can only contribute into the Lifetime ISA until you’re 50 but it will give your savings a big boost so it’s worth considering.
If you take out a Lifetime ISA and invest the money generated by it into a property, you could both live in a place you own and save for retirement. As long as you can pay off your mortgage before you retire, you’ll build up a nest egg through the capital invested in the property and release the equity when you need funds for retirement.
According to statistics available on gov.uk, the average amount saved into a pension each year is just £2,400, that’s an average of £200 a month. Encouragingly, government statistics for 2016-17 show that contributions by the under 24 and 25-34 age groups continue to increase. Back in 2012-2013, these groups made up just 20 per cent of the overall contributions made in the UK. The 2016-2017 statistics show those age groups contributing 36 per cent of the annual pension savings. Of course, auto-enrolment plays a big part in that success story.
If you’re approaching retirement age and you want to claim the basic State Pension, you can do this over the phone or you can download a State Pension claim form and send it to your local pension centre. You’ll find all the details you need at gov.uk. If you’re going to download, complete and post your claim, you should use a fast parcel delivery service which will guarantee that your claim gets to the right place as quickly as possible.
If you’d like to know more about your options for retirement, why not visit the Pensions Advisory Service?