Check your pension

You know you've got a pension or two around here somewhere. But how exactly are you supposed to fantasize about your dream retirement if you don't know how much is in your pension? Or even what it's invested in?

Fact is, the phrase 'Check my pension' should definitely be on your radar every so often.

But, it's also something that isn't at the forefront of everyone's minds.

Pensions Explained

There are lots of reasons why you should get excited about your pension. It’s one of the best ways to save for retirement and offers many valuable benefits. Our short video will help explain pensions in more detail, and how you could boost your own pension pot.

Like so many money-related chores, many of us find it easy to put off checking our pensions. There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before retirement. And by then it can feel more difficult than it should be.

The thing is it doesn't have to be. In fact, you can get started in your next coffee break.

First things first: check your state pension

Everyone's got one, haven’t they?

Well, if you've made enough National Insurance contributions, or had sufficient national insurance credits, you should have a state pension waiting for you when you get to state retirement age at that time.

The standard rate for the full Basic State Pension is £156.20 per week for a single person. The full current state pension is £203.85 per week for a single person. You might have to pay tax on your State Pension. To find out your entitlement, go to the government website. Its really easy, and they'll even tell you whether you can top up the amount you are going to get.

How do you check your other pensions?

It’s pretty normal to have picked up several pensions over the years. You move jobs, they each have their own pension schemes and, all of a sudden, you’ve got a few of them squirrelled away. And you've got no idea how much each one contains.

Who knows, you might even have taken the time to consider combining them all into one place down the line. Even better, you may be considering taking expert advice on this.

You should get an annual statement, keeping you updated as to how your pension is doing, and how your money is invested.

But a lot can happen in a year. What if you’ve gone paperless, or they’ve got an old address?

It’s not a problem. Head to the provider’s website, or app if they have one, and you should be able to retrieve your info with a policy number and some personal information. If you don’t have your policy number, just give them a call.

Can’t even remember who your policy is with?

Again, you have options.

Thanks to the government’s handy Pension Tracing Service, you can track down anything that might be attached to your name. You’ll need to know the names of your employers, but they should be able to make your search easier. They’re just a phone call away, if you prefer talking to someone – on 0800 731 0193.

Once you’ve tracked down your previous pensions, you’ve got some options. You could let them do their own thing, or you could think about talking to someone who could help you make sense of what you’ve got—and, of course, what you potentially could have. After all, you’re probably reading this because you want this whole thing to be as simple as possible.

Which is where we come in.

We just want your pension to make sense to you

Not everyone’s a financial adviser. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have all the information you need to look forward to retirement as much as possible.

And a little advice goes a long way.

If you are interested to find out if you might be able to get more from your pension, Skipton advisers offer friendly, straightforward financial advice to help clear the fog. You can read more about how we can support you on our pension planning page. Invest from £20,000 as a lump sum or £500 per month. For advice on existing investments/pensions, minimum value required is £50,000+.

We’re dedicated to helping you plan your future by researching solutions that suit your circumstances. You’ll benefit from an in-depth review of your plans – including your pension – as we explore ways of growing your savings. If there’s a gap between your expectations and finances, we’ll advise you of the options that you can take to address it.

Gareth Smith, Skipton Retirement Expert

Important information

For retirement solutions such as drawdown, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invested. The value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise. Your eventual income will depend upon the size of your fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.

Get in touch and get started

For more information on our inheritance tax planning service and to find out whether you could benefit from financial advice, call our team today for a free initial consultation.