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Q: I never started a pension when I was younger and I feel like I’m too old now, what’s the point?

A: Although it’s usually seen as better to start saving into a pension as early as possible, there’s no such thing as “too old” when it comes down to it.

Here’s three things to think about before writing a pension off when you’re older:

1. Put your money under the microscope

So, for every £100 you were to save into a pension, it only costs you £80 if you’re a basic rate taxpayer, £60 if you’re a higher rate taxpayer and £55 if you’re an additional rate taxpayer. Find out more about pension tax relief here.

But keep in mind a pension is a long-term savings product and is designed to be kept invested for five years or more.

And if you’re still not sure how much you’ll need in retirement, use our handy retirement planner tool to help guide you.

2. Think about delaying retirement

Sure, nobody wants to work for the rest of their life. But if you qualify for auto-enrolment, you could make the most of a workplace pension, by saving into it for as long as you can.

Your employer legally has to contribute at least 3% into your workplace pension, and you have to contribute 5% (of your gross qualifying earnings). It’s taken out of your salary, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Delaying your retirement also means your pension savings have more time to grow.

3. Track down lost pensions

Did you know that there’s an estimated 1.6 million pension pots that are ‘lost’ in the UK?

When you’re moving to a new job, your workplace pension won’t automatically move with you. And you might have a personal pension you set up years ago that you’ve completely forgotten about.

You can follow our helpful tips or use the government’s pension tracing service Link opens in a new window to try and track down your old pension pots!

4. Don’t panic

It can get really scary thinking about not having enough for later life. But there are small changes that you can adopt now that can make a difference.

If you’re worried about your quality of life in retirement, or are looking for some guidance, the government’s free Pension Wise service from Money Helper Link opens in a new window can help.

Where to next?

Your pension is designed for later life. When you save into a pension, the value of your investment could fall and you could get back less money than you put in. You usually can’t access your pension until age 55 (rising to 57 from 6 April 2028). Tax rules can change and depend on your personal circumstances.

This article can give you helpful tips, but it isn’t financial, or tax advice. If you’re not sure if something is right for you, you should speak to an Independent Financial Adviser.

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