Top five retirement resolutions for 2021

8 January Reading Time: 5 minutes

The New Year often brings with it a renewed sense of purpose and a general air of optimism as people set about targeting new ambitions and goals. Unfortunately, in 2021 there is an altogether more sombre mood in the UK, with the surge in Covid cases, hospital admissions and deaths resulting in a third nationwide lockdown, which could continue into April.

Yet, despite the amplified January blues, now remains an opportune time for people to adopt healthier behaviours – particularly when it comes to retirement finances. After all, January is when many older members of the workforce start to consider their retirement date; it is certainly one of the busiest months of the year for the My Pension Expert team.

Thus, it is logical to do what one can to strengthen pension pots. And with this in mind, My Pension Expert has devised five retirement resolutions for 2021, to help savers get their retirement finances in order.

Develop a realistic retirement strategy

First and foremost, it is vital to ensure you have a retirement strategy in place. It might sound obvious, but a surprisingly large proportion of adults don’t have one; according to My Pension Expert’s recent survey of more than 900 UK adults aged 40 and over, 42% admitted that they have no clear retirement strategy.

Luckily, help is always on hand in the form of independent financial advice. Advisers will be able to review an individual’s existing financial situation and develop a tailored retirement plan to suit their needs. With the support of an expert, savers can plan their financial future with confidence.

Make saving more convenient

We all lead very busy lives, which makes it easy to forget about pension contributions. So, it is important to make saving for retirement as easy as possible for yourself.

This is simple for those with a workplace pension. Through such schemes, employers deduct the agreed pension contribution from an employee’s salary, making contributions an effortless, automated practice.

Alternatively, adults with a personal pension should consider setting up a regular direct debit to contribute to their pension. Thus, savers are able to build up their pension pot, without any hassle.

Track down old pension pots

Today, it’s commonplace for people to have worked for six or more companies throughout their careers. However, with every new job comes a new workplace pension scheme; and these can be hard to keep track of. Indeed, almost a third (31%) of UK adults aged 40 to 54 have lost track of their numerous pension pots, according to research from My Pension Expert.

Fortunately, the Government offers a very useful tracking tool that can help savers track down their pots. While the service does not tell people the value of their workplace pension, it informs users of the relevant contact details of their provider. Consequently, savers are able to find out more details about their pot and effectively manage their pension savings.

Shop around

The idea of shopping around for a pension provider may seem daunting. Consequently, many savers stick with a provider that does not best suit their individual needs. However, it could be advantageous for savers to investigate their different options. After all, different providers offer different benefits, so it’s worth dedicating some time to conducting thorough research.

What’s more, savers are able to transfer their pension pot at any age, so there’s no need to put off the research until a later date.

That said, some providers impose charges on clients who look to transfer their funds, so people must ensure they read the terms and conditions and seek independent financial advice before committing to a transfer.

Keep up to date with the latest pension news

Pensions can be confusing. The market is constantly evolving, with changes touted to pension policies, tax relief and the triple lock system. Add to that the potential for negative interest rates to be introduced this year, and there is further complexity for people looking to manage their retirement finances.

With this in mind, it would be beneficial for savers to make a conscious effort to improve their knowledge about potential changes to pension policy in 2021. Doing so will ensure they are prepared to review and adjust their retirement strategy in accordance with any major changes. And remember, those who are confused by any aspect of policy changes can always speak to an independent financial adviser, who will be able to explain what these changes mean in clear, jargon-free terms.

2021 has not got off to the smoothest start. However, this should not deter savers from making a conscious effort to strengthen their retirement finances. Doing so will offer great peace of mind, knowing that their financial futures are under control.

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