Why Bother With a Pension?

Pensions may seem difficult, but the core concept is straightforward. Because your State Pension – although a good starting point – isn’t a lot, it’s important to understand the advantages of investing into a pension system. It is critical to plan for the long term; while evaluating your pension, seek experienced guidance from a specialist such as Portafina.

Disclaimer: Tax information provided in this article was correct at the time of writing but may become out of date if tax legislation changes. This article should not be taken as financial advice. Please find a financial adviser or consult with a tax book if you feel you need tailored advice on your circumstances.

Why Bother With a Pension?

The benefits of putting money into a pension

You must select how you will save for retirement after you have made the decision to do so.

Pensions provide a variety of crucial benefits that will help your funds grow faster than they would otherwise.

A pension is essentially a tax-advantaged long-term savings scheme. When you get tax relief on your pension, part of the savings are from tax relief.

If you save via a defined contribution pension plan, your monthly payments are invested and increase during your career, eventually providing you with a retirement income.

From the age of 55, you may usually release your pension funds without penalty if you wanted to retire early.

The significance of retirement planning

Millions of individuals aren’t saving anywhere near enough to provide them with the lifestyle they want when they retire.

You have three options if you belong to this group.

You can do the following:

• Postpone retirement

• Begin putting aside more money

• Reduce your expectations for how much you’ll be able to spend in retirement.

The maximum State Pension for 2021-22 is £179.60 per week, or £9,339.20 per year, which is nowhere near as much as most individuals say they want to retire on. In retirement, don’t rely on the State Pension to keep you afloat.

Even if you are qualified for the full State Pension of £179.60 per week for 2021-22, this is nowhere near what most people say they want to retire on. Particularly if they want to retire at 50!

This is why retirement planning books are worth their weight in gold. By working backwards from your financial objectives, you can create tangible goals in the short term. If you’re achieving those small steps, this will provide reassurance that your future dreams are within reach.

The best retirement portfolios needn’t be mind-bogglingly complex or time-consuming to manage. You can simply choose a good UK stockbroker and invest in a diversified portfolio of bonds and equities and let your money do the hard work. All investing carries risk, however, when saving money for retirement, you should have the time and patience to be able to wait until the stock market outlook improves.

Employer contributions

Employers are now obligated to register their employees in a workplace pension system in order to help them save more for retirement.

This is referred to as ‘automatic enrolment.’

Remaining out is like turning down a pay raise if your job provides you with access to a pension that your company will contribute to. Unless you can’t spare any cash to contribute or have unsustainable debt, staying out is like turning down a pay raise.

Of course, if your company will contribute to your pot regardless of whether or not you pay into it, you should participate regardless of your financial situation.

When you retire, you will get a tax-free lump payment.

You may normally withdraw a lump sum, tax-free, of up to a fourth of your pension funds.

Once you reach the age of 55, if you’ve managed your own pot with a defined contribution system (rather than a salary-related pension scheme), you may utilise the remaining funds as you see fit. Taking your pension money early might put you in serious financial trouble in retirement, so it’s almost certainly beneficial to seek financial advice to ensure you’re making the best decision.

How tax relief boosts your retirement savings

When your profits exceed a specific threshold, the government deducts taxes from your earnings.

This is seen on your payslip. Tax reduction is available if you contribute to a pension plan.

This means that, in addition to the money you put in, part of the tax instead goes into your pension fund.

Even if you’re below the tax threshold, you may still earn tax relief on your pension payments if you enrol in your own personal or stakeholder pension plans, as well as several kinds of workplace pension plans.

What’s more, investments held within a personal pension, Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or workplace pension scheme won’t incur capital gains tax on realised gains. If you understand how invested are taxed outside of a pension scheme, you’ll see the benefits of using pension products where possible to invest for your retirement. Stocks & shares ISAs are the only other account wrappers that offer such protection from tax. However, contributions into ISA accounts are strictly limited each year.

This is not the case with other employment pension plans.