I already have a pension

If this is you, congratulations! You are recognising the issue and looking to deal with it.   If you have been in a final salary scheme (these days very rarely available outside the public sector) for all your working life, you may be on target to retire at 2/3rds of your salary at 65 or 60.

But most of the rest of the population will have a pensions gap, especially with recent stock market performance and the sharp increase in the cost of buying a pension.

If you are saving in a money purchase scheme or personal pension there is a good chance that you do have a pension gap, so you need to keep an eye on its performance.

Here are a few other things you can check:

  1. Am I maximising the contribution available from my employer?   Many employers match what you contribute so its worth taking advantage of that. Otherwise you are effectively walking away from free money!
  2. Am I contributing enough to reach my desired retirement income? A useful rule of thumb here is that you should probably be contributing at least half your age as a %age of your income  – so a 20 year old should be making a 10% contribution, while a 50 year old would need to make a 25% contribution.  The chances are you are contributing less than this, and if so you need to think seriously about upping your contribution.
  3. How is my pension fund performing?  You should be able to get that information from your pension provider or your financial adviser.
    The danger here is that you might have set up a direct debit for your pension contribution and then assumed you were done.   It’s probably worth getting into the habit of checking once a year or so to make sure you are on track.
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