I’ll be honest my pension is not something that I think about or is top of my to do list, but it is something that is at the back of mind and I know that it is definitely something that I should be prioritising and getting it looked at. And I know that I am not alone with this!
Until nearly 7 years ago when I had Alice, I worked full time for companies that had brilliant pension schemes. They paid into them and I made contributions and it just happened all for me and I didn’t have to think about it. I then left my job at the end of my maternity with Alice, and I contracted with another company for a year, where I paid into a pension scheme. I then fell pregnant with Holly and I left that contract job.
Since having Holly, who will be 5 in August I have either been on maternity leave, or self-employed working for myself. I know that I should really have a pension in place, but I don’t. For me to be off work to look after my girls was our priority and we didn’t have the surplus money to pay into a pension scheme. Which I think is the case for a lot of woman.
I’ve been working with Scottish Widows for the past year, and last year I visited their pension bus which was touring the country to understand more about pensions, what my own personal position is and to be honest give me the kick to do something about it.
I’m working with them again to talk about their current campaign, which is of particular interest to me. Scottish Widows wants to help woman prepare better financially for their future, explain about automatic enrolment, the upcoming increase in workplace pension contributions and show you what a difference it could make in the future.
Recent studies by Scottish Widows shows that a third of young women (22-29)are not saving enough for their future, which when compared to 46% of men their age are, its worrying. Especially because statistically woman live longer and earn less than men. Yet, we are not prepared for our future, and this the camp that I sit in currently.
What is automatic enrolment about? This affects people who are employed. Essentially you are ‘auto-enrolled’ into your workplace pension. When auto-enrolled you them make minimum payments into your workplace pension. From April 2019 the minimum workplace contributions are increasing from 5% to 8%. In plain English it means that if the combined total that you, your employer and the taxman currently contribution to your pensions is less than 8% you’ll need to put in a little more. The concern is that when these changes come in, people will be tempted to opt out and stop saving for retirement all together. However you should weigh up what you want to invest in your future, and plan for the retirement you want so it may be beneficial to remain opted in – you can work out how it could impact you on the Scottish Widows website.
It can be hard to make the decision to actively pay into a pension, with all the other costs we occur, childcare, maternity leave, reduced working hours etc. But by opting out or not contributing to a pension it can have serious implications for your financial future. This includes me too!
A small change now, can make a big difference in the future. It is never too early or too late to start a pension and planning for your future.
If you would like more information about the changes that are happening or anything Pension related, head over to Scottish Widows for more information.
Disclosure: This is a paid partnership with Scottish Widows. Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn’t guaranteed, and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.