Refresh your Finances with a Summer Savings Review

Summer 2021 has been unusual for many of us. As peak summer sets in we might be favouring staycations over foreign holidays and opting for staying in over going out. Not only could this mean a vastly different summer socially, but it could also mean our finances might be flourishing or on the other hand, they could be flagging depending on the circumstances. Regardless of how you choose to spend your summer, most of us will have an idea of how our finances have fared over the course of the year and some of us might even be thinking ahead to Christmas.

With this in mind, now could present the perfect mid-point opportunity to have a quick pause for a finance refresh, take note of spending habits and decide whether any changes could be made. When it comes to your pension, signing up for My Pension and regularly logging in to your account can stand you in good stead for any retirement saving goals you might have. Taking control of your pension in this way can also allow you to see the current value of your pension pot and perform calculations to see how this figure might look later down the line under different circumstances.

There is an abundance of information online about how much you should aim to save to achieve certain standards of living in later life, the PLSA’s Retirement Living Standards can be a good starting point and is a topic we have covered previously here. Having tangible figures to strive for can help you plan your course of action, with My Pension’s online projectors offering a forecast into the future. You might be surprised to find that you are on track to meet your retirement goals or alternatively you may decide to boost your pension to achieve the lifestyle you have in mind.

If you would like to top up your pension, there are two flexible ways to increase contributions:

• You could pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) into your pension account at the North East Scotland Pension Fund along with your normal contributions, or,
• You could pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) into your own personal account with Prudential, our AVC provider.

Our website provides a thorough comparison of both options here.

If times are financially difficult, you can reduce your monthly pension payments with the 50/50 option. 50/50 allows you to pay half the contributions and build up half the pension. This way, instead of opting out and saving nothing, you can continue to save for your retirement. 50/50 is designed to be a short-term option for when times are financially tough. As such you'll be brought back into the main section where you pay full contributions around every 3 years. You'll be told when this is happening and will have the option to continue with 50/50. For more information on 50/50 visit the Reducing your Contributions page.

Events that affect your working life, such as a new job, maternity leave or absence or contract changes can also impact your pension contributions in different ways. Our website covers these circumstantial changes here.

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