Six tips for your retirement plans

How to get you and your retirement plans ready.

It’s been said ‘a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow’. It might feel like your plans for the future have been put on hold for the past couple of years. But could you start to pick your retirement plans up again?

Have faith in your plan

It’s good to recognise the work you've put in and decisions you've already made. Look at what you’ve saved and what you’ve done so far. Continue to check your pension value and the progress of any goals you've set yourself. And if you’ve benefited from financial advice, your adviser will have spent time to make sure you have a robust plan based on your needs.

Continue to save

A pension is a long-term investment. By continuing to invest over a longer period of time it gives you more time to ride out the ups and downs of the market. But remember, those investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back what you put in.

Get to know your pension

As well as keeping a close eye on the value of your pension and investment performance, take time to remind yourself of what your pension does. Not all pensions are the same. You might have additional terms or features that could affect what you can do with your pension savings at retirement. You can find this out in the plan details document for your pension and we’ll remind you as you get closer to your retirement date. It’s also quick and easy to stay up to date with your pension using our mobile app.

Look after your money

Be careful when considering taking money from your pension savings. If you decide to take any money from your pension, it will have an impact on what you'll have left to live on.

The money you've saved will need to last for the whole of your retirement. Make plans for your income and what you spend it on carefully. Take time to think about how much you need, how long it needs to last for and how to manage it, so it doesn't run out.

With market fluctuations it may be tempting to take 100% of your pension when you retire. But think about the amount of time you could have in retirement. The tax you might need to pay could erode the value of your pension savings too. Even when you retire you still need to think longer-term, as you did when you were saving for retirement.

Be flexible

So you have your plan, but you’ll also need to be prepared to be flexible. You may have a specific retirement date as a focus, but keep an open mind. Our way of life has changed and people and businesses are now working differently. In this new landscape you might have to work longer than you thought to meet your retirement goals, or work part time for a while. If working for longer isn’t possible then saving more now could be another option to get you to where you want to be.

Get help if you need it

We’ll always recommend you get suitable financial advice when it comes to your pension savings and your retirement options. There’s also Pension Wise, a free and impartial guidance service offered by the government to help you understand your options at retirement. The Pension Wise service is part of MoneyHelper. Visit to find out more.