This week’s top tip is an important one. It is easy not to get as excited about savings and pensions as we are, but there are some easy tips to ensure that your money is working for you and not being lost and forgotten in the drawer!
1. Savings rates – many banks and building societies offer special introductory rates to attract new customers, however these enhanced rates often have limited timeframes and if you don’t check regularly, you could find the rate isn’t quite as attractive. With most providers having online capabilities, it is easy to shop around for the best rate and move your money electronically.
2 Right account – take account of what your savings are for. Having a plan could mean that you could afford to tie some your money up for a short period of time. Consider what you need for emergencies, then any surplus should be more considered. For example, putting next years holiday fund in a one-year bond means you might lose access, but you may benefit from increased rates.
3. Lost pensions – Did you know that it is estimated that there are 1.6 million lost pensions pots worth nearly £20 billion which could remain unclaimed? * Now could be a good time to understand where your retirement funds are. Make a list of past employers and dig out old statements. You can often match the two to get yourself a timeline of schemes. You can also use the Government website to trace old schemes - https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details
4. Check Your State Pension - it’s very hard to plan your retirement without a full view of your State Pension. It’s therefore a good idea to check how much State Pension you could get and when you could get it. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/check-state-pension. You will also be able to see your National Insurance record, and whether you can improve it. You might be able to fill gaps by claiming National Insurance credits or making voluntary National Insurance contributions.
*ABI, Oct 2018
The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.
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