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Five questions to ask yourself about your pension

When it comes to planning our future, there’s plenty more that we all should be doing to make the most of our savings.

We’re now living far longer than previous generations – the average life expectancy for women in the UK is now 82.9, with male life expectancy not far behind at 79.2. So you would think that the majority of us are putting a lot of thought into how best to feather our future nest by saving for our pension.

Research, however, would suggest otherwise. According to a recent report by the Financial Conduct Authority† on consumer attitudes and experiences of pension savings, 81% of us haven’t thought about how much we should be paying into a pension. Three-quarters of us, meanwhile, have not considered how we’ll manage financially in retirement, 53% of us haven’t checked the value of our pots in the past year, and 71% of us don’t know the charges we’re currently paying.

Checking pensions regularly can help you make sure that you’re on track for the retirement you want, and that your investment choices are still right for you based on your age and attitude to risk. It could be that you’re being held back by limited investment choice, or paying higher charges than you need to.

So here’s where you need to do a quick check to find out if you’re on top of your finances – if you answer ‘no’ to any of these, it’s probably time to take action.

Are you pension aware?

  1. Have I reviewed my pensions in the past 12 months?
  2. Do I know how many pensions I have and which pension provider(s) they are with?
  3. Do I know how my savings are being invested so they have the potential to grow?
  4. Do I know how much I’m paying in fees?
  5. Do I know how much I want to save and whether I’m saving enough?

If you’ve had different jobs over the years, it’s easy to build up several pension pots with different employers – making it even harder to keep on track. Many people find it easier to have all their pensions in one place. Most pensions can be portable and it’s relatively simple to move them to the provider of your choice. One way to do this is to opt for a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which offers flexibility and convenience.

Fidelity’s SIPP, for example, allows you to see and manage your pension savings in one online account, as well as offering a wide investment choice with funds from more than 100 leading providers. It gives you plenty of help along the way with guidance, tools and information, including retirement planning calculatorsto help with various aspects of retirement planning. From how much you need to save, to what might be the right income option for you when it comes to accessing your pension.

Our UK-based phone team is also on hand to offer you guidance and support. Just call 0800 028 1819. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturdays 9am to 6pm.

SIPP tips

  • You can choose to pay a lump sum into your SIPP, make regular monthly contributions, or both. Flexibility is a key feature of SIPPs.
  • Transferring old workplace pensionsinto a SIPP can make it easier to manage and keep track of your retirement savings.
  • Keep a diversified range of investments within your SIPP so you are well placed to ride out the inevitable ups and downs of the markets.
  • If you want to leave it to the experts, you can choose a ready-made multi-asset fund. These give you exposure to a range of assets, sectors and geographies, and are a great way to ensure you have a diversified portfolio from the start.

Important information

The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. Withdrawals from a pension product will not normally be possible until you reach age 55. 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 benefits, charges and features offered. To find out what else you should consider before transferring, please read our transfer factsheet at If you are in any doubt whether or not a pension transfer is suitable for your circumstances we strongly suggest that you seek advice from an authorised financial adviser.

†Source: The percentage statistics are taken from the FCA Data bulletin, March 2018, on consumer attitudes and experiences of defined contribution pension savings.