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Pension or panic?

Confused Woman

Are you planning for your retirement?  What does this look like – a relaxing life full of cruises, long lunches, mortgage paid, kids off your hands and treating your family?  Well with major changes round the corner, we all need to act quickly to prepare for life after work, no matter how old we are it is not too early OR too late to think pension!

When can I retire?

The state pension age for women will increase:

  • From 60 to 65 by November 2018
  • From 65 to 66 by April 2020
  • To 67 by 2036
  • To 68 by 2046

To be honest the later the gets, I can’t but think that I will be long gone, before I am remotely close to seeing the pension that I have been paying into since I began work at the tender age of 21!

Just to complicate this further, if you were born between 1950 and 1954 the impact depends on your exact birth dates, as the introduction of the changes is staggered!

What do I need to do?

  • In your 30’s
    join your employer’s scheme – you get tax relief and an employer’s contribution which is effectively extra salary.  From 2012 you will be enrolled into the new low-cost National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) set up by the Government (unless of course, you opt out)
  • In your 40’s
    If you are not in a scheme by now, this must be a priority.  The Nest scheme will be useful for women in low paid occupations – an you can stay in it when you move jobs, including self-employment
  • In your 50’s
    Find the gaps in your entitlement – if you were in a scheme when you were younger, track down the details.  If in more than one, now is the time to think about whether combining them will be beneficial for you.  Do you need to buy a bigger annuity?  Do look at both your private and you NI contributions, as you may be able to top them up
  • In your 60’s
    Claim what you are entitled to.  Over 1 million people are currently not claiming their pension credits.  Make sure that you are not one of them!

No matter what your age now, you can never be too young or old to consider your pension.

Do you know if you have the best pension plan?

Do you agree that the current changes seem complicated and designed to confuse?

At Real Women Today we are asking for your thoughts, even if you don’t give your retirement any thought at all – we want to know…?

 

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