I am in total denial over my pension provision. And I bet you are too. Apparently a quarter of workers who could be saving into a pension offering by their employer choose not to. This is because they’ve opted out of auto-enrolment into their pension scheme. Most of those who’ve chosen not to save into a pension (and are also then missing out on contributions from their employer) are low earners, earning less than £10,000 a year. They are generally part-time workers and yes, most part-timers are women.
I’m self-employed, so I don’t get any help from an employer towards a pension. And of course I also don’t get the living wage, holiday pay or whatever. While it’s worth it – once you’ve been your own boss, it’s difficult to be an underling again – it isn’t good on the bank balance. Self-employed women, whether they are in the ‘gig’ economy providing their services when demanded or more formal arrangements, tend to be badly remunerated too.
It all adds up to a toxic brew when it comes to pensions. After all, if you are low-paid then how can you afford to pay into a pension – even if you do get tax relief? And who wants money to be tied up in a plan where you can’t get at it until you are 55? And where should you put the money anyway?
I do have a Sipp (self-invested personal pension) but I don’t put much into it. And I have a pension built up from when I was a newspaper reporter. But I have no idea how much it will pay me. Nor do I have any idea how much I’ll get from the state. My new year’s resolution should be to find out: but can you think of a more depressing way to start 2017?
Here’s where to go for state provision: www.gov.uk/check-state-pension.
And how much you’ll need ... www.pensionwise.gov.uk/work-out-income.