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Workplace Pension Tips to Help You Save for Retirement

A majority of people in the UK have pension plans through their places of employment, and it’s important that you know how to get the most out of yours. There are certain measures that you can take right now to ensure that you get what you need for retirement. It is never too early to start thinking about this. The longer you want to start focusing on your pension, the less you will have when you decide to retire.

Deciding How Much to Contribute to Your Pension Plan

One of the first things that you will need to do is to decide how much you should contribute to your pension plan on a regular basis. You should try to put in as much as you possibly can to get the most from your plan. The more you contribute, the more you employer will put towards it. Take the time to run the numbers so you can determine exactly how much you can contribute from each pay cheque.

Employer Contributions

You also need to know how much your employer should be putting into your pension plan. All employers are required to contribute to their employees’ pension plans. Those who are auto-enrolled get 8% of their total contributions matched. You will be able to get all of the information you need on contribution levels as well as investments from your employer. If you work for a big company, you can refer to the HR department for these details.

Investing Your Pension

When you are determining how much of your pension to invest, you need to think about how long you have until you officially retire. If you still have a good 20+ years before retirement, you can take one more risks. If you make some bad investment choices, you will still have plenty of time to recover from them. It is, however, still important that you take the time to look over your investment options carefully.

If you are getting close to retirement, you need to focus on maintaining the value of your pension pot as opposed to taking high stakes risks. You should focus on low-risk investments that can still pay off, including government bonds.

While a lot of people simply let their scheme determine which strategy to take for investing their money, you can most likely select a different one. Take the time to look into some of your alternative options so you know exactly what they are. You don’t want to make any investment decisions before carefully reviewing your choices.

Growing Your Pension Pot

You should set realistic expectations when it comes to how much your pension pot is going to grow in the coming months and years. It all depends on the overall performance of the investments you have chosen. You will get a statement each year so you can see how much your fund has grown. It is important that you look at this statement so you can make your decisions accordingly.

Large vs. Small Pension Schemes

There is always the question of whether to go with a larger or smaller pension scheme, and it’s important that you make the right decision. The smaller schemes tend to have higher charges, and the larger ones usually have lower charges. You can use the Pension Quality Mark to recognize contribution schemes that are well defined.

Look for pension schemes that have a minimum contribution of 10% and 6% for employer contributions. By looking at these criteria, you will be able to choose a good pension scheme to match your needs.

Review Your Scheme Regularly

It is important that you spend some time reviewing your pension scheme on a regular basis so that you can ensure you have made the right decision. You should also make sure that the trustees that are associated with your scheme are reviewing it on a regular basis to ensure optimal performance.

There aren’t any requirements for governance if you are part of a contract-based scheme. In this case, a pension provider is hired to run everything. Any reputable employer will take a look at your pension scheme every so often. Your employer should have a governing committee in place as well.

What to do if Your Pension isn’t Working for you

If you don’t believe that your pension scheme is working for you, it is a good idea to contact the Pensions Advisory Service, which can help you with the information you need. You should also talk with your employer as soon as possible so you can discuss any concerns you might have. The final solution is to transfer your funds into a Self-Invested Personal Pension or SIPP. This will allow you to take full control of your pension so you can use it however you want.

Your Definitive Guide to Saving Money While Travelling Abroad

If you are going to be travelling abroad, it is important that you follow some basic tips that can help you save a significant amount of money. Travelling to another country can be quite expensive, so you will need to get all of the tips you can to stay within your budget. Even those who don’t have very much money can still travel abroad if they know how to do so properly. You might be surprised at all of the different ways there are to remain thrift when going on holiday overseas.

Select Your Airfare Wisely

It is important to remember that the cost of airfare varies wildly depending on the time of year and even time of day. The best way to save money on your plane ticket is to buy it anywhere from 5o to 100 days prior to your departure date. There is also a good chance that you can save up to 20% by booking it on a Thursday. A lot of airlines offer discounts on tickets in September, so you should keep that in mind as well.

Go Cheap When Dining Out

When you are looking for a place to eat while on vacation, choose a local street vendor or cafe instead of a high-class restaurant. This can help you save a lot of money on your trip while still allowing you to enjoy some delicious native dishes. You will be surprised when you discover just how tasty the food is at some of the less expensive places. Take some time to find out how much the food at each place in the area you are staying cost before going anywhere. A lot of the money that people spend on holiday goes into food, so it’s important to remember this tip.

Shop Around for a Car Hire

You should first ask yourself if you absolutely need a car while you are on holiday. If you do, you should take some time to review your choices. Spending an hour or so looking through discount booking websites can help you save a lot of money on a car hire. Make sure that you know what kind of cover you will have through your insurance company if you get into an accident. Some providers don’t offer any international cover, so you will have to check before leaving.

Take Public Transportation Whenever Possible

One of the more effective ways to save money on your next trip abroad is to take public transportation whenever you can. This is usually very cheap and can get you to where you need to be fairly efficiently. Not all cities offer the same transportation options, so you will need to look into this ahead of time. If the public transportation system is very good where you are going, you might not need to hire a car at all.

Learn About the Currency

Currency exchange rates fluctuate wildly, so you will need to get this information prior to leaving. You can save a lot of money by exchanging your currency beforehand. Your bank will most likely be able to help you with this. One of the worst things you can do is to use your credit or debit card abroad, as you will almost certainly incur hefty charges for each transaction.

Search for the Right Place to Stay

The accommodations you choose for your trip will be very important, so it will warrant a bit of research before making a final decision. A 5-star resort might sound very nice, but it is going to cost you a bundle. You will most likely be able to find plenty of great places to stay at a fraction of the cost. Make sure that you book your hotel room through the actual business instead of a booking site so you can potentially safe a little bit.

Use a Budgeting App

There are numerous mobile apps to help you stay within your budget while you are travelling. These apps will allow you to keep track of what you are spending at every stage of your trip. Those who use one of these apps will reduce their chances of going over their budget, which can have disastrous results.

Don’t Get Carried Away

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to get carried away with your spending. It is easy to do this because you are on holiday, but it can really cost you (quite literally) in the end. You should always ask yourself if there is a cheaper alternative that you can opt for to save money. When you maintain this mindset, you will be able to have an enjoyable trip without worrying about exceeding your budget. Just because you are on holiday doesn’t mean you should be frivolous with your money.