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London marathon – Ready, steady, go?    

The London Marathon 2018 will see 40,000 racers take to the streets of London in a race of 26.2 miles across the city.  While the race itself is only 26.2 miles (only….she says), our working lives can also sometimes feel like a bit of a Marathon (particularly on Monday morning, stuck on a train, bus or in traffic). Roughly we spend up to a third of our lives working and so thinking about retirement is often a welcome thought (particularly on Friday afternoon….) but how do you know if your pension savings are on track?
Well, we’ve put together our foolproof training pack to help keep you on track for later life, no matter what point of your working life you’re at, making sure you reach the finish line retirement ready.

Ready? 
It's easy to get sidetracked into thinking pensions are difficult and so put off making important decisions about your future. However, when you start looking into joining a pension, most people are pleasantly surprised. And the sooner you can start saving into a pension the longer your savings have to grow.
If you’re just starting working, we recommend you think about saving into a pension. If you’re employed and eligible, you should be in a workplace pension scheme. What does this mean, we hear you say? Well, it means that you’ll be saving into a pension. You’ll be benefitting from tax-relief on what you put into it and your employer will be putting in money for you too. That has to make sense! You can leave the scheme at any time if you wish, but if you can stay in the scheme you should seriously consider it. 
If you’re self-employed you can think about setting up a pension yourself. These are normally personal or individual pensions. There are no restrictions on the number of different pension schemes that you can belong to, but there are limits on the total amounts that you can contribute across all schemes each year if you're to receive tax relief on your contributions.

Steady? 
Been working a while but not sure if you’re on the right path for your retirement plans? Our suggestion? Do some sums. 
Do you own your own home and still have a mortgage or do you rent and need to make sure you have enough money each month to pay your bills? Once you have worked out your expenses, consider how much of these will be covered by any State Pension entitlement you may have. What you have left (plus or minus) will need to be covered by any other sources of income you receive. This could be savings or additional incomes, for example, rent from property you might own. The difference between the above is what you’ll need to save for.
If it looks like you’re a little off course, think about if you can afford to pay more into your pension and also check your National Insurance contributions, if you have gaps in your records you may be able to fill these to increase your entitlement to the State Pension.

Go! 
Retirement might feel far away, but it will benefit you, in the long run, to save now and spend later. If you’re young, and at the beginning of your career, you have many years ahead where the money you save can grow through investments. If you’re older and think it’s too late, remember you’re benefitting from tax-relief on your contributions and investment growth.
So don’t delay and start training your pension today!

You can call us for free on 0800 011 3797 with any pensions questions you might have.

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