/ Money

Update: do you know if your retirement plans are on track?

Pension saving

Our research has found that nearly half of those over 50 aren’t sure of the value of their pension. But knowing these details is vital for making informed retirement decisions. So do you know what’s in your pension pot?

Gone are the days when people worked for one company all their life. In fact, the Government estimated in 2011 that on average people will work for 11 employers during their lifetime.

With the introduction of auto-enrolment for workplace pensions that means more and more of us will retire with multiple pension pots. For what it’s worth, I’ve got three different pensions so far.

Keeping a track of your pension can be difficult, but this is pretty critical information when you’re planning how to turn those savings into a retirement income. So how can things be improved for savers?

Tracking your pension using the pensions dashboard

Imagine if you could go online, securely, and – maybe using your national insurance number – see all the information about your pension pots and savings, alongside your state pension forecast.

Well it’s not impossible; these types of pension dashboards already exist in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

When we asked people approaching retirement age how much they knew about what they’d saved, four in 10 found said they it difficult to keep track of their retirement funds. And a fifth said they wouldn’t know how to find out this information.

But that’s no surprise really when you think that currently you need to keep the paperwork from all your different pension providers, update them all when you move house, or try to remember if you had a pension with that firm you worked for 20 years ago…

Keep it simple for savers

A pensions dashboard could house all this information in one easily accessible place. It could give people a complete picture of their retirement fund and, in turn, help them make informed choices. It might also help engage people with their pensions while they’re still working.

We’re now calling on the Government to commit to the testing and introduction of a pensions and savings dashboard without delay. The regulator has previously said that it would work towards this in the longer term, and the pensions industry is supportive too.

Update: 12 September 2016

Earlier this year, the Treasury backed our call for a Pensions Dashboard. Within the Chancellor’s Budget, plans were announced for the free-to-use online dashboard to be delivered by the pensions industry by 2019.

The Treasury has now announced that 11 pension providers have joined together, in a scheme managed by the Association of British Insurers, to build a prototype of the dashboard.

The long-awaited Pensions Dashboard will see a beta version ready by March 2017, with the dashboard due to be available to the public by 2019.

Do you know how much is in your retirement savings? Do you think a dashboard like this could help you with tracking your pension?

Robert McLoughlin says:
1 September 2017

I have been fortunate to receive three pensions, State, MOD and a very small company pension (after the noncontributory arrangement was stopped) and managed to save, so you could say I am ‘comfortable’. However, I still pay income tax. It is iniquitous to pay a tax on insurance premiums, hammering the prudent amongst us, but that is another story…

The mistake I made was to sign on to a voluntary additional contributions scheme (I would not have got the full pension on the 9% alone, as I had started working for that employer too late) that was not the best for me. I don’t know whether a pensions dashboard would have helped with that.
My mistake was signing for a scheme that gave best pension if retiring at 60, when, in the event, I retired at nearly 67. I failed to work out that in the scheme committing me to retiring at 65, paying a lower contribution, I’d have got exactly the same pension retiring at 61 and a better one for each year I continued working up to 65. I think I’m approximately 2K per annum worse off. And that’s not counting what I’d get if I’d paid the difference into an independent pension.