Pension expert advises on ‘key steps’ to ensure a comfortable retirement

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PENSION saving is often undertaken years, or even decades before a person plans to retire, with several steps taken to ensure a comfortable retirement is secured.

Pension saving can take place through a variety of means, and an increasing number of people are looking into private arrangements to make sure they have enough put aside. Alternatively, the State Pension also provides somewhat of a regular sum, and workplace arrangements can also be of assistance in retirement. However, it must be said that the coronavirus crisis has caused some turbulence for pension savings, with an increase in hesitancy about the market in the coming months and years.

Express.co.uk spoke to Michelle Gribbin of Profile Pensions, an impartial pension advice company, to discuss the options of savers.

While Ms Gribbin did acknowledge Britain has a safety net in the form of the State Pension, she stated this sum is not always enough for people to get by. 

This is because the State Pension cannot be claimed until an age potentially after a person chooses to retire.

Ms Gribbin also highlighted that in terms of income levels, this can be relatively low. 

In a quest to help savers, Ms Gribbin outlined the key steps people can take towards securing the retirement they aspire to. 

She said: “First, you should check your pension is in the right place, invested with the right scheme, the right company and the right risk profile.

“Some customers may be more adventurous and in that case we can invest differently than a cautious person. That is about a balance of risk and reward.

“Secondly, you should review. What is the best thing now, may not always be the best thing.

“Thirdly, you should always be agile when looking at your pension. As and when you change employment, you get pensions which can be left behind – and you can consolidate as you go along.

“Finally, consider your contributions. Have a look and plan for the future. 

“How much income do you need to achieve your retirement plans, and how much have you got from your provision? This should be constantly reviewed.”

However, it is also important for savers to keep their options open with how they can save.

Ms Gribbin also drew attention to alternative methods of managing money.

She added: “If people are in a position to invest via property, so they don’t have rent charges in retirement, they should do so as this is a massive plus.

“There are customers who have pensions and who have savings – this provides huge flexibility, although obviously, a pension is the most tax-efficient way to save. A combination is good.

“There are other things to consider as well. There are people now who are perhaps inheriting more than they would have done in the past.

“These kinds of things should be taken into consideration when planning pensions and it is important to look at the bigger picture.

“Undoubtedly, the earlier people can start saving, or paying into a pension, the better.”

The Money Advice Service from the government has also provided Britons with a pension timeline, advising on how and when to save.

This includes monitoring investments, managing debt and money, making a will and receiving free and impartial guidance. 

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