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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 11:07 GMT
Saving for retirement
You need to save for retirement, because it could last for 20 or 30 years or even more.

But the State pension may not be enough to give you the standard of living you want when you retire.

So if you can afford it, it is usually a good idea to put some extra money aside for your retirement.



THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

When do you want to retire? The longer you keep working, the longer you will have to build up your retirement savings.

The earlier you want to retire, the more savings you will need to give you a particular level of income in retirement.

How much money would you like to live on when you retire?

Think about how what you spend might change when you stop working - you may spend less on some items, such as travelling to work, but more on others, such as heating.

And remember to think about how the amount of money you need might change as you get older and to allow for the effects of inflation. Using a budget calculator might help you to look at this.

How much can you afford to save at the moment?

The more money you want to live on when you retire, the more savings you will need. So, the more you can put aside now, the better your chances of having the income you want when you retire

WHAT DO YOU HAVE ALREADY?

Find out what State pension you can expect to get when you retire.

You can find out how to do this by looking at the Pension Service website. But remember that there may be changes to the state scheme before you retire.

You could also check what state benefits or tax credits you might be entitled to when you retire.

You can do this by looking at the Directgov website. But remember that the tax and benefits systems may change before you retire.

Are you a member of a pension scheme at work? If so, your employer should be able to give you some information about what you will get when you retire.

Do you have any old pensions which you are no longer paying into? If so, find out what pension you can expect from them too. If you've lost track of any pensions from a previous job, the Pension Tracing Service may be able to help you.

Do you have any other savings or investments that you can put towards your retirement?

ADDITIONAL SAVINGS - WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

Find out whether there is a pension scheme at work - if there is, it might be worthwhile joining it.

If you are already a member of your employer's scheme, you might be able to make additional contributions to boost your pension.

Your employer should be able to give you more information.

You could consider saving in a personal pension scheme or stakeholder pension.

These are widely available from financial firms, such as insurance companies.

Using an online pension tool might help you to identify your options.

And you can find information comparing the different products on offer both on the web - eg the FSA's pension tables - and elsewhere.

You might also want to think about putting some money aside in other savings and investment products. Look at our "saving and investing" checklist for more information.

REVIEWING YOUR PLANS

Whatever plans you make for your retirement, remember to review them from time to time to make sure they're on track to give you the income you expect when you retire.

GETTING HELP

If you would like some help with sorting out your retirement plans, you could think about talking to an adviser.


Useful checklists and information


Handy tools

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Contact numbers and internet links

Financial Services Authority - Consumer Information
Information from the UK's financial services watchdog
Consumer helpline: 0845 606 1234 (call rates may vary)

Directgov
Links to all government information and services

The Pension Service
Part of the Department for Work and Pensions
Tel: 0845 60 60 265 (call rates may vary, Mo-Fri 0800-2000)

The Pension Tracing Service
Free of charge search of more than 200,000 pension schemes
Tel: 0845 6002 537 (call rates may vary)

The Pension Advisory Service (Opas)
Information, guidance and dispute resolution on state, company, personal and stakeholder pensions
Tel: 0845 6012923 (call rates may vary)

Association of British Insurers

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


This checklist was developed jointly by the BBC and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK watchdog for the financial services industry. It does not provide financial or other professional advice. If you want advice specifically tailored to your personal circumstances you should consult an adviser.




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