Start saving this year and set yourself up for a safe and secure future with these tips
See it as a terrific down payment on future happiness. After all today’s 65-year-olds can reasonably expect another 21 years at least.
The biggest problem though about this recipe for feeling good and enjoying more peace of mind is … getting down to doing it.
To help you on your way the Department for Work and Pensions has put together a guide with simple steps about what’s most important.
Guy Opperman, its minister for pensions and financial inclusion, advises: “There is lots of great support out there to help you save – no matter what your age or financial situation. By knowing what your options are and thinking ahead, everyone can make sure they have what they need in later life.”
The earlier you start saving money, the better
1. Plan ahead by budgeting
A key part of saving is managing your money well and spending responsibly.
If you need help in establishing a budget why not try the Money Advice Service?
It’s a free and impartial service set up by the Government that offers tips, tools and calculators to help keep track of your well-earned money and to plan ahead, with support offered online or over the phone. It also offers a mortgage calculator, baby cost calculator, money health check and much more.
Visit https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en or call them for free on 0800 138 7777.
2. Make sure you have a workplace pension
There is one simple commitment which many workers across Britain have kept, and which is guaranteed to benefit them in the long run.
Since 2012, pension saving has been transformed thanks to 9 million people being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension.
As long as you’re aged 22 or over and earning at least £10,000 a year, your employer is legally bound to enrol you. In return for paying in a minimum of 1% of your salary, your employer will match it and you may get tax relief from the government on your contributions. It’s one of the easiest ways to save.
And, with contribution rates set to rise in April 2018 and 2019, savers will see every penny going further as, thanks to compound interest, the earlier people save the more they will earn.
Get to know your workplace pension by visiting https://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/
Workplace pensions have so far been well executed
3. Save ethically by joining a credit union
Across Britain there are now more than 1.2million members of over 300 credit unions, run as co-operatives owned and controlled by their members.
They can be a great option offering people savings accounts, financial support and assistance, and low-interest loans. They are run on a not-for-profit basis, and can be a local, more ethical way to manage your money. Any surplus cash made from lending is either put back into the business to improve services, or is paid as a return to members.
Find your local credit unions by visiting https://www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk/.
4. Find how much State Pension you’re likely to get – and when
Your State Pension age is the earliest age you can claim it. It may be different to the age you can get a workplace or personal pension, and is worked out based upon your gender and date of birth.
Find out your State Pension age by visiting https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age.
You can also get a free estimate of how much State Pension you are in line to get by visiting https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension.
The State pension age is different for everyone, so make sure you know yours
5. Track down any lost savings
With people on average having 11 jobs over the course of their career, gone are the days of a single job for life. Hundreds of millions of pounds in pension savings remain unclaimed, but the Government’s Pension Tracing Service is here to help. It has now completed more than 1.7 million searches to help people track down forgotten or lost pots.
It is a free and comprehensive online database listing more than 320,000 pension scheme administrators.
Visit https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details for a simple, step-by-step process.
6. Make sure you’re getting what you’re entitled to
You could be missing out on hundreds of pounds by not claiming some of the benefits you are entitled to.
Over £200 billion was spent on welfare payments last year in Great Britain. However across the UK there are around 6.5 million unpaid carers, and many of them may be entitled to some financial support, such as Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Credit.
You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you spend 35 hours a week providing care for someone, earn less than £116 per week and are currently not claiming State Pension or in full time education. The person you are caring for must also be getting a benefit because of their illness or disability. It is worth up to £62.70 per week.
Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit which protects a carer’s future State Pension by filling in gaps in their National Insurance record, if they care for one or more person for at least 20 hours a week and do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance. Applying for Carer’s Credit for a year means a carer could receive around £240 extra per year when they retire.
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