Booking a taxi. Paying the bills. Even ordering a takeaway. We do practically everything online these days. Everything, that is, except for our pensions.
While the vast majority of us are happy to do our banking online and to set up savings and investment accounts over the net, it seems we’re far less inclined to manage our retirement nest eggs a la web. In fact, according to our latest Real Retirement Report, just 31% of 45-64-year-olds currently manage their pension online.
How about you? Do you manage your pension digitally? If not, then read on to learn about five ways technology can help you get your pension plans on course:
One of the biggest benefits of managing your pension online is that it allows you to check how much you’ve got saved whenever you want, 24/7. In the past, most people waited until their annual statement popped through the letter box to find out how much was in their pension pot. Today, you can log in to your online account and find out in seconds – making it much easier to keep tabs on things.
If you have a pension with Aviva, you can view your latest pension balance using MyAviva. If your pension is with another company, your best bet is to check their website to find out how to access your account.
It can be hard to imagine what your lifestyle will actually be like when you finish work and retire – and indeed, studies show we often struggle to picture our future selves. Which is exactly why we created the Shape My Future tool.
Enter a few simple details and the tool will allow you to daydream about what sort of life you might have when you retire. Fancy travelling the globe? Moving to a nicer area? Or simply going out for a couple of meals each month? You can tell the tool. And best (or perhaps worst) of all, once you’ve done that it will tell you how close you are to being able to afford to do these things.
If you find you’re on track to afford the lifestyle you want, great. And if you discover you’ve a bit of work to do? Using Shape My Future could be just the inspiration you need to get yourself in gear.
Another online tool you might want to consider using is a pension calculator. Most pension companies have one (us included – check out My Retirement Planner. Type in a few details about how much you’ve got saved at the moment and these tools will show you what sort of income you could have when you retire.
You can also usually make alterations to see what effect they could have on your outcome – such as increasing the amount you pay in each month or putting off your retirement for a year or more.
According to research we published in 2016, some 1.5 million employees don’t have a clue what their pension fund choices are – and have never reviewed them.
That’s 1.5 million people who could be making a big mistake. Why?
Largely, because where your pension pot is invested can have a huge impact on how much money you’ll eventually end up with. And if you don’t bother checking yours, you’ll have no idea whether you’re investing in funds that match your goals and attitude to risk. If the fund(s) perform poorly – and/or you’re paying a lot in charges – you may not have enough money for the comfortable retirement you want.
The good news is that if you manage your pension online you can often check where your money is invested in a matter of clicks. And usually you’ll also be able to change your funds online, too – free of charge. Just remember that as with most investments, the value of your funds can go down as well as up, so you can get back less than has been invested.
Once you’ve taken steps to get your pension on track, it’s important to check in on it every few months or so to make sure you stay on course. That way, you can keep a close eye on how your investments are performing and decide if you need to make any changes.
Depending on who your pension is with, you might be able to do this through an app – making it really simple to do wherever you are. If your pension is with us, for example, download our free MyAviva app. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll also be able to manage any other policies you have with us – like your car or home insurance.
Using technology to get your pension on track might not be as exciting as booking an Airbnb or ordering a chicken jalfrezi online. But if you take it seriously, you could end up with a more comfortable and fulfilling retirement than you might have done – one your future self will thank you for.
The value of your pension investment is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up and you could get back less than has been paid in.
Already have a pension with Aviva? Log in or register with MyAviva to manage and monitor yours online – at the touch of a button.
Use our handy tools and calculators to help you plan for your future.
Puzzled by pensions? Get the lowdown on everything you need to know.
Already have a pension with Aviva? Monitor it online at the touch of a button with MyAviva.