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Commonwealth Games 2018

Today, the 2018 Commonwealth Games will open in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Australia will be the hosting the games for the fifth time. This is a very special games as it is the first time in history that a major multi-sport event will have equal numbers of male and female of events.

Much is written about the inequality in the amount of pensions that men and women accumulate in their paid-working life. There are systemic issues for part time workers or people with multiple low paid jobs that are below the automatic enrolment threshold. There are also many missed opportunities for women that we hear about on our helpline.

In order that pensions, like the 2018 Commonwealth Games, can move towards equality, here are our top tips.

  1. If you earn below £10,000 per annum but above £5,876 per annum, you can ask to join your workplace pension scheme and the employer will have to contribute.
  2. If you are taking a career break to care for children or elderly parents, you may still qualify for National Insurance credits towards the State pension – check that you are “registered” for the credits.
  3. If you are only planning to work for a short period of time, it is still worth joining the workplace pension scheme in order to benefit from the employer contributions. A small pension pot can be transferred into another pension or cashed after age 55 so it will not be lost.
  4. It is really important that you build up a pension entitlement in your own name even if you are part of a couple in order that you benefit from the tax allowance.
  5. If you are a spouse of a member of the Armed Forces, you have longer to pay voluntary National Insurance contributions to build up your State Pension entitlement.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham, will also be special as it will coincide with the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II being head of the Commonwealth. We hope these tips help you get closer to a platinum pension!

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