Saving for retirement

Saving for retirement

Auto-enrolment has proven to be an effective tool for increasing pension participation rates and ensuring more individuals save for retirement. By simplifying the process and making it the default, it helps overcome common barriers to pension saving, benefiting both employees and society at large. However, ongoing advice and support are crucial to ensure that you understand your choices, the long-term benefits of remaining enrolled in pension schemes, and that you are on track to achieve your retirement goals. Whilst it is great that regular contributions are going into your pension, is it going to be enough?

The minimum contribution required under auto-enrolment is 8%, 3% from the employer and 5% from the employee. Some good employers will pay more than 3% and indeed offer to match any increased contribution from the employee unfortunately however many will stick to the minimum.

So what does this mean for your pension savings?

If an employee earns £30,000 annually:

  • Qualifying Earnings: For simplicity, assume qualifying earnings of £25,000 (after deducting a lower earnings limit).
  • Total Minimum Contribution (8%): £2,000 annually.
    • Employer Contribution (3%): £750 annually.
    • Employee Contribution (5%): £1,250 annually, which may be reduced by tax relief.

Determining how much you need to retire comfortably depends on several factors, including your desired lifestyle, expected retirement age, and longevity. Here are the key considerations and some guidelines to help you estimate your retirement needs:

Retirement Income Guidelines

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) provides the following annual income guidelines for different retirement lifestyles in 2023:

  1. Single Person:
    • Minimum: £12,800
    • Moderate: £23,300
    • Comfortable: £37,300
  2. Couple:
    • Minimum: £19,900
    • Moderate: £34,000
    • Comfortable: £54,500

To achieve the moderate of income of £23,300 from the state pension age it is estimated that a pot of £256,000 would be required. This assumes that you have the full state pension and that the income would be required for around 20 years. With so many variables, however, it would be advisable to build in some comfort to allow for things such as early retirement, increased longevity, etc.

So are you currently saving enough?

Retirement Savings Strategies

  1. Workplace Pension:
    • Contribute as much as possible, especially if your employer offers matching contributions.
  2. Personal Pension:
    • Consider setting up a personal pension plan and making regular contributions.
  3. Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs):
    • A stocks and shares ISA is a great way to add flexibility to your retirement plans.

Planning for retirement involves assessing your desired lifestyle, estimating the required annual income, and calculating the total savings needed. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your retirement plan as circumstances change is crucial. Pensions are a great and efficient way to save for your future however there are many things to consider so taking advice can make all the difference in achieving your goals.

Find out more about our Financial services here.

Christopher Plews
Chartered Financial Planner, GGFM

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