This is a paid partnership with Scottish Widows.
The word ‘pension’ conjures up images of Zimmer frames, blue rinses and losing dentures down the side of the sofa. There’s a vague sense of security attached to it but essentially, it’s a code word for: The End. I would say on my list of things-to-do, ‘sort pension’ has come somewhere below ‘get grease remover for oven hood’ but just above ‘go on run’. Either way, it’s not something I’ve had my head into until – and I will be straight here – Scottish Widows approached me about this brand partnership.
What do I know about planning for the future? I can’t talk about planning for the long term future when I’m not doing it. But that is the point they wanted to make. Unsurprisingly 46% of men aged 22-29 are saving enough for the future compared to 1 in 3 young women. We’re lagging well behind in looking to our futures compared to our male comrades. Much of that is down to the very reason we shout so loudly about flexible working – more than 54,000 women every year lose their jobs through discrimination and inflexibility. So the knock-on effect is we’re not working, we’re not earning and we’re not investing in our pension pots in the same way men are. Essentially, we’re not as invested in our futures because we’re so investing in our children’s futures and the working world seems set against us earning money around that.
At this point if you simply want to know more, check out the FREE information Scottish Widows provides on planning for your future. We’re talking no-nonsense guides and articles, pension calculators, films on the pension basics and a host of other supportive information to help you ease that head out of the sand and see The Future a little clearer.
But the big news is that from 6th April minimum contributions to your workplace pension have gone up from 5 to 8%, you’ll pay in 4% with the rest paid in by your employer and the taxman. What does this mean for you? Well, quite simply you might think like I did in 2005 when I’d started my first job and was focused more on the next hangover than my future. You might think, ‘nah, gonna opt out of this’. It’s easy to look at the money you’re investing in your pension and see it immediately as soft furnishings, nights out, takeaways in and more money in-hand. But the cost of that is your future. You could be the greying version of Bridget Jones in years to come but without the wine, in a shabbier flat and with no central heating. It’s your life you’re investing in and no one else is going to be there to top up the piggy bank when you’ve invested your 4% in Happy Hour, and missed out our your employer and the taxman paying in too! You can see how it works for you on the Scottish Widows website.
And this comes from someone who had ‘pensions’ at number 46 on the list of things to do. I’ve still got to sort that oven hood out but for now it’s looking a little clearer on how I can plan for my future.