We are so often told to live in the moment, yet have you thought about what you want your future to look like? Having one eye on the years ahead will allow you to plan for what you want. Whilst the here and now might be tricky financially, if you don’t consider your retirement years now, you will potentially struggle in your twilight years as well. It’s time to think about pensions. Do you have a pension? Have you been looking at opening one? If you have one, how much is in it? You might also be asking yourself- how much should I have in my pension at 30 years of age? Let’s delve deeper into this and try to figure out your financial future.
- What Is A Pension?
- What Types Of Pension Are There?
- Will I Need More Than The State Pension?
- Workplace & Private Pensions
- Tax Benefits Of Pensions
- How Much Will I Need For My Retirement?
- The Difference Between Savings & Pension Savings
- When Should I Start Saving Into A Pension?
- Average Pension Savings
- How Much Should I Have In My Pension At 30?
- Consider The Here & Now As Well As The Future
- Set Up Your Own Pension
- A Pension That Works For You
- Final Thoughts
WHAT IS A PENSION?
A pension is essentially a type of savings plan, used to help you save money for later life. You pay into it during the years you are employed, and that money is invested on your behalf, to hopefully grow your pot of cash. When you get to your retirement years, payments are drawn to support the cost of living, via periodic payments. There are a few different types of pensions available.
WHAT TYPES OF PENSION ARE THERE?
Pensions can feel confusing but when you look at them in a simple way, they can be easier to understand. The different types of pensions available include:
- The State Pension
- In the United Kingdom we have a state pension that you will be entitled to if you have enough full years of National Insurance contributions. To claim the full state pension, which is £179.60, you will need to have 30 qualifying years of contributions. The amount you receive depends on those qualifying years and you will require at least 10 years of NI contributions in order to get your state pension.
- Workplace Pension
- If you work for an employer, you are likely entitled to a workplace pension. This is set up by your workplace and there is now an auto enrolment process. This means you are automatically enrolled onto the pension- you’d have to specifically opt out of the pension scheme if you didn’t want to contribute to your pension (however this is not recommended!) One of the huge benefits of workplace pensions is that when you pay into it, your employer pays into it too. This boosts the amount in your pot and helps you to fund your future.
- Private Pensions You Set Up Yourself
- There are private pension options for those who perhaps don’t have a workplace pension (eg. self employed) or simply want another area to save for retirement. There are a number of different pension providers, all with various pros and cons, that you can set up a private pension with.
WILL I NEED MORE THAN THE STATE PENSION?
We’ve mentioned the full state pension above. £179.60 a week. Which is paid every four weeks. The annual amount is £9339.20. Is that going to be enough for you to live on comfortably? Perhaps you will still have a mortgage to pay or maybe you have ambitions about going on a trip of a lifetime. Remember that you’ll have to pay for these extras alongside your normal bills like council tax, utilities and food.
If you live with a partner who receives a state pension, you might have double that amount to live on. However, that might not be enough for your lifestyle, and might not cover all the things you want to do in your retirement years. If you think you will need more money to sustain the lifestyle you want, you need to look at an additional pension.
WORKPLACE & PRIVATE PENSIONS
Workplace and private pensions are a great way to plan for your retirement, on top of that state pension you are hopefully eligible for. You might be asking how much should I have in my pension at 30? Well, these workplace pensions are a great way to save monthly from your salary. Since you’ll be auto enrolled on a workplace pension scheme, you might not even notice the payment going out!
The fact that you get the additional benefit of a bonus contribution from your employer when you pay into a workplace pension is huge. Don’t underestimate the value of a generous employer pension contribution in helping you to achieve your retirement goals.
A huge plus point of contributing to your pension, is that the payment is made before tax and before you get paid. This means that the tax benefits of a private pension are worthwhile investigating too.
TAX BENEFITS OF PENSIONS
When you pay into a private pension, the Government will pay in too. This is because if your pension contributions are coming out of your salary before tax, you get tax relief on that money. Pay into your pension and you’ll get a 20% top up from the Government. Meaning you don’t pay tax on that money. This should be done automatically by your pension providers. Any tax relief that keeps more money in your pocket is definitely a good thing.
If you are just over the threshold of a higher income tax bracket, you may wish to consider increasing your pension contributions so that more of your money stays with you, rather than being taxed.
HOW MUCH WILL I NEED FOR MY RETIREMENT?
One of the biggest questions you might ask when you are considering your post-employment years, is how much money you will need for your retirement. Different people will need differing amounts to sustain their lifestyle, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Someone who wants to have 2 holidays to the Maldives every year will need more saved in their pension pot than someone who has an annual week in a caravan. Fortunately, there are pension calculators that we can use to estimate how much we are going to need to contribute to our pensions. This can help us decipher what we need to live on and allow us to work towards those financial goals.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAVINGS & PENSION SAVINGS
Let’s imagine that you have a few thousand pounds put away in savings. That is a good thing, because if the last couple of years has shown us anything, it’s that circumstances can change overnight. Jobs can be lost, the cost of living can skyrocket. Having an emergency fund is a great idea to help you out in the here and now. However, those savings and an emergency fund won’t build up year on year. Yes they might gather a very slight bit of interest, but they won’t get the compound interest that pensions do.
The good thing about savings is that you can put them in easy access bank accounts, and get your hands on the money as and when you need it. In contrast, pension savings are put away and you are not able to get them until you retire. If you are worried about the here and now whilst also wanting to be financially stable in the future, find a balance. Put some money into an easy access account you can use should you need to, yet also feed that pension to have something in place for your retirement.
WHEN SHOULD I START SAVING INTO A PENSION?
The general consensus about when to start saving into a pension, is to start as early as possible. When you start saving earlier, there are more years for compound interest to grow your pension pot. The earlier you start saving, the less you need to save every year. This is because you will start to earn interest on top of interest and your savings will snowball over the years that you contribute to your pension.
A pension calculator will show you that you might need to put £150 away per month to hit your target, if you start at 20 years of age. If you don’t put anything into your pension until you are 40, you might have to put £750 into your pension each month to reach your goal. Some like to use the following strategy: when you start regularly putting money into your pension, it should be half of your age as a percentage.
For example, if you are 24 years old and open a pension, you might put 12% of your annual salary into your pension pot per year. For a 32 year old opening a pension it would be 16%, and for a 45 year old 22.5%. You can see that the longer you wait to start contributing to a pension, the more money you might need to find each month.
Remember, that your employer pension contribution also contributes to this percentage!
AVERAGE PENSION SAVINGS
Statistics gathered by PensionBee show the average pension savings for three different age groups of people. The following information will help you to see if you are on track with other people in your age bracket:
- Generation Z (aged 18-23)
- The average pension pot – £21,765
- The percentage with nothing saved – 3%
- Millennials (aged 24-40)
- The average pension pot – £22,049
- The percentage with nothing saved – 4%
- Gen X (aged 41-54)
- The average pension pot – £33,547
- The percentage with nothing saved – 6%
HOW MUCH SHOULD I HAVE IN MY PENSION AT 30?
So let’s ask the big question: how much should I have in my pension at 30? With these figures from Millennials above, you can see the average pension pot is just over £22k. You might have more, you might have less, or you might be one of those in the 4% who have nothing saved.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There will be plenty of people who aren’t able to put regular money into their pension pot. The average pension savings figures aren’t to scare you or make you feel like you are failing. It is simply to let you know how other people are planning for their futures, and to think about how you want to plan for your own.
CONSIDER THE HERE & NOW AS WELL AS THE FUTURE
As mentioned already, pension contributions are fantastic. They can help you prepare for your financial future, and get your money in the best place for you to plan for those retirement years. However, when you put money into your pension, you won’t be able to access it until retirement age. With that in mind, you should always ensure that the cost of living is taken care of in the here and now.
There is little point in having a huge pension in place, with 30 years until you can access it, whilst struggling in this moment. Yes, we need to think about how much should I have in my pension at 30. Furthermore, we should plan accordingly for our future.
However, we also need to think about our money right now. Don’t overlook it. It’s important not to get into financial difficulty in the present, to try and set yourself up for the future.
SET UP YOUR OWN PENSION
If you want to set up your own private pension, take a look at PensionBee. The company has a whole range of pension plans available for you to choose from. There are plans for different levels of risk, plans which avoid investments in fossil fuels, and varying fees, meaning there is something for everyone. You’ll find tracker and tailored pension plans, as well as a Shariah plan which will invest your cash only into Shariah-compliant companies. This is important as those investments are approved by an independent Shariah committee.
You can also find old pensions with PensionBee, bringing all your pension pots into one place. Think makes keeping an eye on your financial future easier than ever before.
A PENSION THAT WORKS FOR YOU
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all idea, you need to figure out what works for you and your situation. By starting a pension plan with PensionBee you can see exactly how your financial future is looking. With everything in one place, you can keep an eye on things, even on the go via the PensionBee app.
When you join, you’ll also gain access to the BeeHive, which will allow you to make flexible contributions when you are able. This is perfect for self employed and freelancers who perhaps spend a lot of time chasing invoices. You’ll also see those automatic claims for your 25% HMRC tax top up.
There is no set in stone or absolute about how much you should have in your pension at 30. Everyone has a different job, with different salaries and different situations. One of the best things you can do when you are looking at pensions is to figure out what you can afford to put away every month. Something is better than nothing, but even that might be a stretch for some while the cost of living is skyrocketing.
With a flexible pension plan from PensionBee, you can pay in when you are able to. The state pension we can all gain access to via our National Insurance contributions is a fantastically firm foundation for our retirement years. One that many of us will want to build upon. Don’t let the stats about how much your peers may or may not have saved already put you off. Your situation is yours and the only one you need to focus on. When you open a pension plan that you are happy with, you can start to invest towards your future, today.