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Can't afford to retire?

Getting your pension finances back on track

You’ve worked hard and saved into your pension. But what can you do if you realise you aren’t going to have enough money to pay for the retirement you want? 

Firstly, don't panic. We've put together some advice to help you take back control of your finances.

Cant afford to retire

Track down all your pension funds

If you’ve moved jobs a lot, you may have pensions that you’ve forgotten about and lost contact with. Make sure that you track them all down and take them into account when planning your retirement finances.

The government's Pension Tracing Service can help you find both company and personal pension plans that belong to you. Even if forgotten pension funds are small, it all adds up.

To make life easier, you can transfer multiple pensions all into one place. If you’d like to transfer to our award-winning online service, it’s simple – just make sure you consider the risks, charges, funds and valuable benefits that could be lost. Your capital is at risk and you may be required to obtain financial advice for which a fee will be charged.

Delay your retirement

Staying in paid work longer can give you more time to add to your pension fund and may help you to address any small debts before you retire. If you’d still like some of the freedom that retirement offers but want to keep working, you could try to reduce your hours or look for a part-time job. 

While delaying your retirement could mean you pay more money into your pension, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get more money from it when you retire. Pension investments can go down in value as well as up, so you may get back less than you’ve invested. 

All this means is that if you're thinking about delaying your retirement, it’s worth talking to a financial adviser, who may charge you for their services.

You may also need  to find out the deferment rules for your pension scheme. Ask your employer or pension provider how this works and what it means for you.

Find out what you’re entitled to

You’ll probably be able to claim a State Pension if you’ve worked and made National Insurance contributions or received National Insurance credits. Not everyone gets the same amount, so it’s worth finding out what you’re due. And if you don’t take your State Pension straight away, you can increase the payments you receive when you do choose to start.

There are other benefits you may be entitled to in retirement, such as pension credit and winter fuel payment. You can use a government calculator to work out how much you might be able to claim.

Check how much guaranteed income your pension fund could buy

If you choose to buy an annuity with some or all of your pension savings, you’ll receive a fixed income for the length of your retirement. Annuity rates don’t stay the same, so to get a clearer picture of the income you could use our pension annuity calculator.

Review your savings and investments

Your pension isn’t the only place to look for the money that’s going to fund your retirement. If you’ve got any investments or savings, now’s the time to check on their performance and returns.

If you do some research, you may find that they could be working harder for you if you move them elsewhere. This could be a complex decision and you need to consider the charges, fund range and any valuable benefits that could be lost. We always recommend you talk to a financial adviser.

Whether you’re new to investments or have done it before, find out more about what it’s like to invest with us.

Release money from your home

There are different ways to unlock cash – or release equity – from the value of your home to help fund your retirement.

A popular type of equity release is a lifetime mortgage  – it's a long-term loan secured against your property. You can carry on living in your home and there are no monthly repayments. Instead, the loan and interest are repaid, usually from the sale of your home, when you die or leave the property to go into long-term care. 

It’s important to consider the benefits, costs and risks before deciding whether a lifetime mortgage is or other equity release product is right for you. If you're thinking about equity release, you should always get financial advice.

Find out more about equity release and get an idea of how much you could release from your home (link to equirt release page/calc?). 

Further advice

If you need advice tailored to your specific situation, visit the Step Change debt charity or Citizens Advice for free debt guidance.

Or talk to a financial adviser about managing your money in retirement. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.

If you need advice tailored to your specific situation, visit the Step Change debt charity or Citizens Advice for free debt guidance.

Or talk to a financial adviser about managing your money in retirement. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.

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