Tips to improve your retirement income

Perhaps you're looking forward to having more time to explore faraway places. Or maybe you dream of simply waking up each day and doing whatever takes your fancy. However you see your future, retirement is a time for you to do the things you've always wanted to do.

Retirement is a time for you to do the things you've always wanted.

The ways that you can take your pension savings changed in April 2015, giving you more choice over how you can access and use the money you've saved up. Deciding what to do with your pension is a big decision. To help you in your planning, here are some tips that could help you increase the money you have available in retirement. 

Make sure you have details for all your pension pots 

  • Locate pension pots that you may have forgotten about. The Pension Advisory Service and the Pension Tracing Service can help you to trace forgotten pension pots.
  • Remember to take your State Pension into account. Find out more about your State Pension, including what you might be entitled to and how to claim, on the gov.uk website. 

Consider topping up your pensions 

  • Think about topping up your pension in the years leading up to your retirement. That little bit extra could make a difference. 
  • Remember, you might be eligible to top up your State Pension too. This could be particularly beneficial if you're self-employed or a woman, because it's possible your State Pension entitlement may be low. 
  • Depending on the type of pension you still have in place, you could keep saving into your pension once you're retired too. This has tax-free benefits that could help you save that bit extra. However if you're over 55 and have already drawn a flexible income or taken a cash lump sum, over your 25% tax free cash, the amount you can contribute tax-free into a pension may be limited. 

Consider retiring a little later than you'd originally planned

  • Delaying your retirement might give your pension fund more chance to grow. Remember though, if your pension fund remains invested the value could go down as well up and you may not get back what you put in. If you defer your retirement, it's also important to check whether this will affect any state benefits you're entitled to. 
  • Working part-time for a while after you finish full time work might enable you to delay drawing money from your State Pension or your pension, meaning your money may last longer when you do retire. 
  • Maybe you fancy trying something new, like setting up your own business. Becoming your own boss could be a good way to stay active and keep earning.

As well as deciding what to do with your pension, there are other things to think about when it comes to making sure you have the retirement lifestyle you want. Feel inspired by the possibilities that retirement can bring by watching our new video or try our retirement 'life list' tool, using the related links below.

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