How to look after your pension savings

Seven ways to feel more in control of your future

Understanding how your pension works and what it does can help you feel more confident about the way you’re saving for the future you want.

Whether you want to check your pension savings more regularly or just occasionally, here are some tips to help you look after your pension savings.

Check your plan value

Your plan value is a good gauge of the hard work you’re doing in saving for your future. You can check the value of your savings using our online service or our app. Around three quarters of customers using our app will login at least once a month to check their plan value with some people using it ten times a month.

It’s up to you how often you check your plan value. But if you choose to do so regularly, bear in mind that it’s likely there will be times when you see the value of your pension go down as well as up and it could mean you get back less than you invested. Your pension is a long-term investment and it’s quite normal to see these kind of fluctuations. Although there are no guarantees, over time pension values generally go up despite these short-term ups and downs.

Keep an eye on your investments

There are a number of ways your pension savings are invested. You’re probably invested in a wide range of assets including company shares, cash, bonds and property. The value of these assets will go up and down, some more than others. Check the reward you’re getting with the risk you're prepared to take for your investments. Your attitude to risk may have changed, but keep in mind that investing should be looked at over the long term and not as a short term move.

Have a peek at your future plan value

It’s possible to get an idea of how much your pension savings could be worth in the future. It’s sometimes good to see where you might be heading and what that might mean for achieving the lifestyle you want. We include a future plan value in your yearly statement we send you. Or, if you want to have a look at your future plan value more often, you can do this with our app too.

The Money Advice Service pension calculator can give you an estimate of the income you could receive and includes the state pension.

Check your contributions

It’s good to regularly check how much money you’re putting in to your pension. Increasing your contributions or making a one-off payment at any time could make a big difference when it comes to reaching your saving goals.

If you can’t afford to do that right now, you could think about doing it next time you get a pay rise or find you’ve saved a little extra money. Any additional contributions will be invested, so their value can go up and down and you could get back less than you invested.

Add your beneficiaries

We want to make sure your pension savings go to the right person when you die.  We can only do this if we have their details. Your circumstances can change over time and you may want to change your beneficiaries (the people who inherit your pension). So it’s important you keep their details up-to-date.

Keep your details up-to-date

If you move or change your phone number or email address, don’t forget to let us know. Not only do we use these to recognise you to keep you and your money safe but it’s also part of how we can continue to look after you. A lot can change in a year or six months, so every so often, have a look and make sure we have all your details. If you need to here’s how to change your details.

If you have more than one pension

Many people have more than one pension. Having to check multiple pensions can feel like hard work. Sometimes it can make sense to bring your pensions all together. But this won’t suit everyone and there are some important things you need to consider first.  Our guide takes you through whether a pension transfer is right for you.