Young couple sat on sofa doing some pension planning

Independent financial adviser, Becky Hammonds of Willow Financial Solutions, provides her top pension saving tips and highlights some of the pension pitfalls and how to avoid them.

For many people the retirement they envisage comes at a high price and it is important to start saving early to achieve the lifestyle you desire.


Here are some of the top pension tips and how to avoid potential pitfalls:

Start saving as early as possible

You may have just started working and retirement may be decades away, but the earlier in life you start saving into a pension, the less you have to save each month to build up a decent pot.

People who are auto-enrolled into pensions contribute at least 4 per cent of qualifying earnings while employers put in 3 per cent and the government adds another 1 per cent in tax relief.

Once in your pension pot, your savings will be invested, meaning they have longer to grow over time. This is both because of time invested in the market but also because any income you earn from your investment is reinvested, allowing you to earn returns on a larger amount than you put in.

This is known as compounding and over time it can dramatically grow your savings and could make a big difference to the amount you have to retire with.

Don’t despair if you have left it later to start saving however.

It’s never too late to start: you can work out exactly how much you’ll need to put away to fund the retirement you envisage.

When you reach your state pension age, you also don’t have to stop saving into your personal pension. As long as you’re resident in the UK, you’re entitled to save into your pension and get tax relief up to the annual and lifetime limits set by Government up until the age of 75.

Review your pension

An independent financial adviser can and should review your pension at least annually.

However, saving into a pension usually means leaving your money invested for the long term. This is because there are onerous penalties for withdrawing your money from a pension early – it’s not like a savings account that lets you access your savings whenever you like.

If you start saving into a pension early, this means that your money stays locked away for longer and therefore has more time to grow.

As you get closer to your retirement age, you might want to transfer your investments out of higher risk investments and into lower risk ones.

Pensions are a complex area and an independent financial adviser is ideally placed to provide information and advice on the best route to take.

For more information contact Becky Hammonds on 07969 269677 or email