Do you have a pension?
Pensions. Eugh! Do you have one? Do you not? I’ll admit, I’ve never had one. I was never enrolled in a workplace pension pre-children and since having kids and becoming self-employed I’ve only just began to panic about the whole thing.
At the start of the last tax year I decided I needed to save something. I am now saving a small amount each month, around 10% of my earnings, and I have a couple of thousand in the bank already. It’s not much, but it’s a start. I will now continue to save 10% and I hope to up this as my earnings rise, if they do.
I never used to think about pensions. In my twenties I lived for the weekends, was paying off a debt management plan and thought I had no spare cash. I now realise I did have some spare cash but I spent it very unwisely. Retiring seemed a lifetime away to me back then, but since hitting my thirties and realising I’d possibly like to retire and travel in my sixties, that only gives me 30 years to save and I so far have nothing saved. Cue the panic alarm inside me!
How much to save for a pension?
If, like me, you are absolutely clueless about pensions and have no idea how much to save then try an online pension calculator to help figure it all out. By entering my age of 32 and my possible retirement age, (I was generous and went for 65 but hopefully I’ll be travelling the world at 60 and not having to work until I’m 80 to get a decent pension), along with my monthly savings of around £170 per month, I can see that by the time I retire I’d have around £15000 to live off per year. Not much is it. I really need to up my pension game and save way more than I am now. If you have a play around on the calculator you’ll be able to work out exactly how much to save monthly now in order to hit your desired income upon retirement.
Go green with your pension!
Roll on one year since massively starting to panic about the whole pension malarkey and I’ve been putting away some money each month into a regular savings account. It is my own personal pension pot. The interest at banks is atrocious right now so I really need to get on the case and investigate what I call a ‘proper pension’ with a reputable pension management company. I have found out about a company called PensionBee which has an climate-conscious pension option among its offerings.
Yes, you read that right. It is possible to have an eco-friendly pension! You can choose to build a better future for yourself and the planet at the same time. It’s the perfect way for us eco-conscious regular folk to invest in a plan that aims to bring positive change and positive returns.
PensionBee recently studied 1677 of their customers to see how attitudes towards a greener pension differed between age and gender. Here are the main results from their findings:
- Savers under 30 almost twice as likely to choose an eco-friendly option as those over 50
- Male and female savers equally eco-friendly, with 17% choosing the PensionBee Future World Plan
- Almost a fifth of Brits (17%) would go for a greener pension
I always find these statistics so interesting, especially to see that the younger generation seem to care more about eco-friendly causes compared to the older generations. Being greener is certainly something we care about in our household and are teaching our children about every day. It’s something I’ve only become more conscious of in recent years and I even wrote the blog post 15 eco-friendly things I do on a regular basis recently to share my efforts.
Even if you’re not a total eco-warrior, you can now have a good impact on the environment by switching your pension to a greener pension instead.
How to go green with PensionBee (even if self-employed)
Perhaps, unlike me, you have a stack of pensions from various workplaces and with different pension companies? If this is sounding all too familiar, then don’t panic. You can easily reduce the paperwork and consolidate all your pensions into a single pension plan with PensionBee. You may not even need to locate the paperwork as by letting them know your employer’s names and dates of employment they might be able to track all your pensions down for you.
If you’re self-employed like me and thought you couldn’t have a ‘proper pension’ then think again! I’ve just been checking out their FAQs and even us self-employed can set up a pension by making ad-hoc or regular payments. There are generous tax benefits to be gained from paying into a proper pension. Basic rate taxpayers get 20% tax relief, so if you paid £8,000 into your pension, HMRC would effectively add another £2,000 to bring the total contribution to £10,000.
Having a pension is absolutely a sensible thing to do as soon as you start earning. Yet again I find myself asking frustratingly ‘why don’t they teach this stuff in schools?!’ It’s only now in my thirties that I’m actually learning about pensions and their importance. It’s only in the past year that I’ve started saving a miniscule amount into a regular savings account for my own pension. I should have started a long time ago. Better late than never though, and if you’re a never person then I recommend you look into it!
For now I have my pension in a bank account, but there are many tax benefits to be had by setting up a real pension with an online pension manager such as PensionBee. I love that a climate-conscious pension can be chosen to help lessen our impact on the environment and will invest our money in companies that care.
PensionBee is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. With pensions, your capital is at risk. The value of your pension with PensionBee can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you started with.
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Collaborative post with PensionBee. All opinions are my own.