Pensions were centre-stage in the media this April, with many questioning whether millennials will be able to afford retirement. Head of Personal Finance at Moneybox, Brian Byrnes, is here to reassure you. He responds to the question, “Are millennials ‘doomed’ when it comes to retirement?” and tells us three things you can do for your pensions right now.
But first, here’s an at-a-glance breakdown of market performance in April.
A potted summary of April market performance
- The UK’s FTSE 100 was up 1.66%, and the US’s S&P 500 was up 1.05%
- The US’s S&P 500 was up 1.05%
- April’s inflation figure is predicted to come down, after it remained high at 10.1% in March
- It’s likely that the Bank of England (BoE) will raise interest rates on 11 May
Take a closer look at April market performance, where we’re at in the business cycle, and what Brian predicts may happen next in the Moneybox Bulletin.
“Millennial pension crisis”: A just warning or just sensationalism?
New research circulated this month suggests that millennials aren’t doing enough to plan for retirement. Some media outlets say we’re headed towards a pension crisis; others say millennials will never be able to retire.
It’s easy to believe that you should just give up when you hear that your chances of retirement are “hopeless” and your savings are “pitiful”. But, it’s important to remember that nuance doesn’t make for great headlines, so take them with a pinch of salt.
So, let’s focus on what we know to be true. A new study shows that 75% of people aged 35-44 couldn’t put a figure on how much they have in pension savings.1 A separate report found that almost a fifth of private-sector employees don’t save anything towards retirement in a given year.2
It’s been a very tough few years. Between a global pandemic, increased trading friction on account of leaving the EU, and a cost-of-living crisis, we know many people haven’t been in a position to make their pension a priority. But, there are a few simple things you can do right now to help move your retirement journey forward.
Three things you can do for your pension, today
1. Find and combine old pensions
Thanks to auto-enrolment, more than 10 million people have been automatically enrolled into a pension scheme since its launch a decade ago.3 However, when beginning new jobs, many pension pots are often left behind. In fact, there’s now approximately £26.6 billion sitting in forgotten pensions in the UK.4 If you’ve had multiple jobs in the past decade, you may have pension savings you didn’t even know existed.
Finding any old pension pots will give you a clear picture of how much you have in pension savings and what you have to save. You could choose to combine your old pension pots into one Moneybox Pension, which you can view, track and manage all within the app.
2. Make the most of workplace benefits
If you have a workplace pension, it’s worth checking that you’re making the most of the benefits. Your employer is required to contribute 3% to your pension, but some employers will increase their contributions if you do the same. Others may even match your contributions. Employer contributions are essentially free money and will really help you build up your savings.
If you’re self-employed, you generally won’t benefit from employer contributions but there are other ways to make sure your money is working harder for your retirement goals.
3. Use the Pension Calculator
If you’re currently contributing to a pension – workplace or personal – use our handy Pension Calculator to find out if you’re on track to your ideal retirement. Input a few details, such as age, salary, and target retirement age to produce your personalised project retirement pot. Plus, see what a difference increasing your payments – even by small amounts – could make to your overall savings in the long-term.
Don’t give up!
Saving for retirement can feel like an enormous task, but remember that you’re not doing it alone. Compound interest, pension tax relief and, in some cases, employer contributions are all working together to help you build a retirement worth waiting for.
All you need to do right now is focus on the things above that you can control, keep going and don’t be deterred by the news cycle.
- Standard Life, Retirement Voice study, 2022
- The Pension Review, Challenges for the UK pension system: The case for a pensions review, Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2023
- PPI, Briefing Note 134: What’s the scale and impact?, 2022
Important to know
As with all investing, the value of your pension can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Payments you make into your pension won’t be accessible until the minimum pension age (currently 55).
When deciding whether to transfer your pension, it’s important to compare the charges, investment options & benefits between Moneybox and your old provider. Moneybox cannot accept a transfer from a pension your employer is currently paying into.
If you’re not sure whether the Moneybox Pension is right for you, you may want to contact a suitably qualified financial adviser for help.