To afford the lifestyle you want when you retire, you need to do something about it today - the buts stop here. It may be tempting to say, "But retirement is a long way off", yet it's never too early to start investing in order to protect your future. To find out more, read our 'Pensions Guide' section by clicking 'Open Guide'. Once you have read that, why not view our 'What is a Pension?' video, presented by Lisa, our online guide.
Our easy overview introduces you to the basics of pensions, provides information on the products available and gives you helpful hints on things to consider.
Once you've paid money into your pension, you won't be able to access it until you're at least 55. A pension is designed specifically to provide for your retirement, so you can't draw it out if you're a bit short one month. The government insists on this to balance out the tax savings they give you.
However, just because you can't spend it doesn't mean you can't control it. Many pension providers now have online services similar to online banking that let you see where your money is and what it is worth. You can also choose where you want your pension provider to invest your money.
Pensions can be quite confusing and many people find it difficult to understand them. It's important to remember that there are two separate elements to a pension. The first is the amount of money you build up from investing into a pension plan throughout your working life, which is known as your pension fund. The second is the income you take at retirement. When you retire, you can usually take up to 25% of your pension fund as a tax-free cash lump sum. The rest of the money in your pension fund is used to buy a product that will provide you with an income during your retirement. You don't have to take a tax-free cash lump sum, you could choose to use all of your fund to provide you with an income during your retirement.
Again if your response is, "But I don't really understand how to plan my finances better", we're here to help. It's all about getting the information you need to make the right decisions. Our tools and calculators can help you get to grips with your finances and plan for the future.
See whether you're on track to fund the retirement you want.
Now you've learnt more about pensions, you can compare the features of Aviva's pension plans, or apply for your chosen option:
You can make regular or one-off payments into a Personal Pension plan and stop, restart and change your payments to suit yourself.
It's a tax-efficient way of investing for your retirement, but bear in mind that you won't have access to the money in your pension fund until you retire.