Creating a retirement plan

There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning your retirement. And don’t forget your situation may change in the future, so you should be prepared to be flexible. If you need any help, you can always call our retirement service on 0800 368 6882. Here are some things to consider.

Work out what you have

There are lots of different places where you might get an income for your retirement. You’ll need to know what they are and how much you have so you can plan ahead effectively. Here is a list to help you.

  • The State Pension: This is guaranteed, though the weekly amount you get depends on several factors. Get a forecast from the Government.
  • Company pensions: For their current value, or estimates of what they might be worth, just speak to your pension plan providers. If you can’t find details of a scheme you had in an old job, the Pension Tracing Service can help.
  • Personal pensions: These are plans you set up yourself, so to get their value, just speak to the provider that looks after them. If you think you may have lost track of a plan, try the Unclaimed Asset Register. If they were contracted-out HMRC may also have a record.
  • Property: Many people see their home as part of their retirement savings, for example downsizing and equity release. If you are considering this, make sure you take into account the costs of moving home and the implications if you want to leave something to your loved ones.
  • Selling a business: If this is part of your plan, make sure you are confident of it’s future value, and the right timing to sell it.
  • Other assets: You might have ISAs, stocks and shares, premium bonds, bank accounts or other savings. Even if they’re not specifically ‘for retirement’, keep them in mind, so your plan is fully inclusive. 

Understand what you’ll need

To work out what you need, you may first want to consider the costs of day-to-day living, such as food and utility bills as well as the bigger ad-hoc expenses like a new fridge or washing machine. Then think of the other items you may want in retirement: a new car, holidays, eating out and so on.

We’ve made it easy to work this all out, with our free budgeting calculator.

Understand your income options

When you’re planning your retirement it’s also important to understand the options for taking income from your pension pot. You now have much more freedom than you had before, but this means there’s more for you to understand and consider and any decisions you do make can have a big impact on your future.

Alternatively, just download our free guide to getting the retirement income you need.

What if there’s a gap?

What you do next is likely to depend on how close you are to retirement and whether you have enough savings to achieve your goals. If there is a shortfall, there are some options for you to consider.

  • Bring your pensions together: it can be easier to manage your money if it’s all in one place. Find out more.
  • Consider paying in more to your pension: you could get tax relief from the government to boost your contributions and there’s time for it to grow (though no guarantee that it will).
  • Boost your State Pension: you may be able to fill in gaps in your National Insurance record by making voluntary contributions, which would then boost your weekly payment from the Government.
  • Delay taking your tax-free cash: if you hope your pension will grow further, or you intend to make further contributions, waiting for your tax-free cash could mean you get more, as it’s worth 25% of your pension’s total value.
  • Work for longer: A few extra years in work can make a huge difference to your retirement income.

If you’re close to retirement

The key point is to decide if you want to make your own choices or need a little help.

  • If you’re going it alone, we can still offer you guidance to help you understand your options, the benefits and drawbacks of each and in setting up the option you choose. Explore your options.
  • If you want some expert support, just get in touch with the Fidelity's Retirement Service. The team specialise in setting up retirement incomes and will focus on developing a plan that suits your specific needs and challenges such as inflation, tax, longevity and making sure your money lasts. Find out more about Fidelity's Retirement Service.

Please remember that the value of investments can fall as well as rise, so you may get back less than you invest. It’s important to understand that pension transfers are a complex area and may not be suitable for everyone. Before going ahead with a pension transfer, we strongly recommend that you undertake a full comparison of the charges, features, and services offered.

Remember, you won’t be able to access money invested in a SIPP until the age of 55.

To find out what else you should consider before transferring, please read our Fidelity SIPP Transfer Factsheet.