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Looking at the bigger picture

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Pensions are not usually at the forefront of most people’s minds, even as retirement approaches. But with a bit of careful planning, you can avoid nasty surprises that might otherwise throw your plans out of the window.

How much state pension will you get?

It’s important to get a clear idea how much your total income will be when you retire, which means thinking about the state pension as well as any private pensions you may have. State pension makes up more than two-fifths(1) of the average household income of pensioners, and understandably, most people can’t afford to retire until they get their state pension. So, knowing how much state pension you will get and when you will get it is important.

You can get a forecast of your state pension online on the government’s gov.uk website, or by calling the Future Pension Centre helpline on 0345 3000 168.

A further increase in state pension age has just been announced – the planned timetable(2)(3) for state pension age now looks like this:

When born

State pension age

6th April 1954 to 5th April 1960


6th April 1960 to 5th March 1961

Between 66 and 67

6th March 1961 to 5th April 1970


6th April 1970 to 5th April 1978

Between 67 and 68 (transition details still to be announced)

6th April 1978 or later



What could you expect from your private pensions?

Moving onto your private pensions, using an online tool such as Aviva’s My Retirement Planner will give you a rough idea of the regular income your private pensions are likely to provide. You can also see whether you are on track for the sort of retirement you are planning, or whether you may need to save a bit more.

Use My Retirement Planner>


Once that you have got a handle on what you are likely to get and when, the next stage is to prepare the investments within any defined contribution pension you have. Defined contribution pensions are pensions where you build up a pot of savings, usually by paying regular contributions as part of a workplace pension. These are usually known as ‘personal pensions’ ‘stakeholder pensions’ or ‘money purchase pensions’.

The preparation that you undertake will depend on what you plan to do with your money at retirement (from age 55 or later). You can find out more about each of the three main options:

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Using your pension money

Retirement on the horizon? Find out what your options are.

My Retirement Planner

Use our tool to find out what your pension might be worth when you retire.


Already have a pension with Aviva? Monitor it online at the touch of a button with MyAviva.

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