Pension Awareness Day takes place annually on September 15 with the aim to alert the nation that they need to save more for their retirement.


So what do you need to be aware of exactly? Here’s some tips from Chartered Financial Planner Amanda Cowie director at  RL Wealth:


  • Pensions are not complicated! Think of them as a very tax efficient jam jar for future spending

If you are a basic rate taxpayer, for every £8 you save into a pension, the Government adds £2 to your pot.  If you are a higher rate taxpayer you can claim a further £2 back via your tax return.


  • If invested properly you should see some growth and all of that growth is tax free

The investment part is so important!  Don’t ignore it.  Think carefully about the level of risk that is appropriate for you.  Think about timescales, investment fund charges and diversity.  The more return you get, the less you have to put in yourself – simple!


  • What happens to my fund if I die? A bit miserable we know!

But essential to consider as someone I met recently didn’t contribute to pensions because she thought that if she died the pot disappeared.  For invested pensions this is not the case, if they are the correct type (and you should check) you should be able to pass them to whoever you like and this nomination can be changed regularly – family members take note!  Check out my blog

However, if you are a member of an occupational arrangement like the NHS/University/Civil Service/Police Pension Scheme the rules are different and you should be aware of what benefits you can pass to whom.  Typically in these schemes a proportion can be paid to a surviving spouse for the rest of their life.  The Scheme rules are available to all members and you should check, particularly if you are not married.


  • How much do I need to save to provide me with a meaningful income? Now that is the million dollar question!

The simple answer is “it depends”.  It depends on how much you need to sustain your lifestyle.  You’d be surprised how much you need to save and why it’s important to consider this sooner rather than later.  Here a couple of recent posts around this.


If you’d like to learn more about getting to grips with your pension then please book in a chat with us here.