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If You Want To Increase Your Retirement Savings Adopt These 8 Top Tips

A jar of coins

Abundance is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to money. This principle is even more applicable when it comes to your retirement savings. Having more money when you retire will enable you to do more and enjoy yourself more.

Increasing your retirement funds could be the difference between merely getting by and having the retirement of your dreams. Therefore, try following these eight tips to boost your retirement savings:

1. Remain Within Your Workplace Pension

If you are not already aware, all employees over twenty-two and earning an annual salary of at least £10k, you should be enrolled in a workplace pension. Including your contributions, those made by your employer, and government tax relief, your pension will accumulate around the equivalent of 8% of your gross annual salary.

Much of this amount is money that you would not have had otherwise. Therefore, opting out of a workplace pension means you would miss out on thousands of pounds. Moreover, opting out could leave you in a considerably worse position in your retirement.

2. Conduct Regular Pension Reviews

Making regular contributions to your pension is terrific as it will build up your retirement funds. However, allowing it to tick over on its own is insufficient to ensure your pension will mature as you had planned.

High management charges and poor performance can erode your pension, so it has little growth, or worse. Therefore, you must regularly review your pension investments to ensure they are remaining on track.

Failing to conduct regular checks means you may not be aware of such negative performance. However, if you do keep checking, you’ll be able to take corrective action if need be.

If the prospect of conducting a pension review fills you with dread, consider calling on the services of a regulated financial advisor. They can look at your current pension schemes and help you decide whether to stick with those you have or change to a different plan.

3. Check Your State Pension Entitlement

It is pretty clear that the State Pension alone is unlikely to provide you with sufficient income to sustain the retirement you’ve dreamed of. However, it is a good top-up, so you should know how much you will receive and when you’re likely to receive it. To qualify for the full State Pension, you must have made 35 years’ worth of NI contributions. These contributions don’t have to have been made in consecutive years, but any gaps will reduce the amount of State Pension you are likely to receive.

4. Track Down Lost Pensions

Over your working life, you may have taken out several private or workplace pensions. It is pretty standard for these to become lost or forgotten about.

Although you’ve probably stopped contributing to these pensions, there could be a considerable amount of money in them. Therefore, you must track down these missing funds. The longer you leave it to find them, the more likely they can become eroded through high fees or poor performance.

5. Claim Your Full Tax Relief

A significant benefit of saving into a pension scheme is that your contributions qualify for government tax relief. This money generally gets claimed back either directly by your employer or your pension provider. However, if you pay tax at a higher level, you will have to reclaim the tax yourself via your self-assessment tax return.

The tax relief you receive is effectively free money. Were you not enrolled in a pension scheme, you would not get this money; it would go to the government. Therefore, ensure you are getting the maximum amount of tax relief due to you.

6. Top Up Your Contributions Whenever Possible

With both private and workplace pensions, you have the facility to make additional top-up payments to boost your retirement fund. You can make these top-up payments as a larger one-off payment. Or, you might find it easier to make smaller but more regular payments. Paying just an extra £50 per month into your pension will mean you have a significant amount more when you stop working - the time you need it most.

7. Carry Over Your Yearly Allowance

You can pay a maximum amount into your pension each year, which is referred to as your annual allowance. The current pension allowance limit is £40k, and this amount includes both your contributions and those of your employer.

Exceeding your annual allowance means that you could incur a tax charge. Therefore, if you are in this position, you should exercise your right to carry over any unused proportion of your annual allowance. However, you can only do this if you have already used up your current allowance.

8. Get Some Help

Pensions can be complex, so getting some regulated financial advice can help maximise your retirement funds. If you do go down this road, you’ll not be alone. Many people seek regulated financial advice, and they benefit from an average of £30k more in their pension pots than those who seek no advice, according to research conducted by ILC-UK.

If you're thinking about your pension, consider speaking to a regulated adviser like Portafina or, view the guides at Money Helper.

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