Managing your pension online

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Improving digital functionality is turning the pension market on its head and at last giving people the ability to manage their savings for retirement in a quick and convenient way that’s very user friendly.   

Digital solutions for pension savers 

We know from our own research that the majority of savers want to manage their pension digitally, but there are still lots of providers that only offer very basic online services.

But there are others that have developed sophisticated digital interfaces that let you manage your pension savings online from the day you join a scheme, all the way through your career and then during your retirement.

In the past people got an annual pension statement through the post and that was about as much interaction as they had with their retirement savings. And if you’re not managing your money properly, how can you get the best out of it? 

The other reason for making an early start is that it gives your money more time to benefit from investment growth and the effect can be startling. Imagine you’ve got £25,000 and you leave it to grow at 5% annually. After 25 years you’ll have just under £85,000. But if you left that money for 50 years you’d have just over £285,000 and so it’s worth leaving your money for as long as possible. It is worth noting that you may not always get back what you put in depending on your fund choice. Do your research to balance your expectations. 

The pros of managing your pension online 

The more you understand how much you need to save and the more you investigate the most appropriate investment options for your circumstances, the better your pension savings are likely to perform. And the great thing about improving digital functionality in the pension market is that it lets you do all of this and more.

If you have a Retiready personal or workplace pension, for example, you can use the technology to register any other pension and ISA savings you’ve got elsewhere. Immediately you can see all of your savings for retirement in one place, giving you a clear picture of what you’ve got and where it’s invested.

Working online there are a range of tools and calculators that let you quickly and easily work out how much the lifestyle you’d like in retirement will cost. By getting an idea of how much money you’ll need, it’s then much easier to set savings goals and to work out how much you should be contributing to your pension each month to achieve them.

There are also really helpful tools to make it easier for you to understand your own personal appetite for risk and the types of investment that are best suited to your needs. And getting to grips with this lets you make informed decisions about where you invest your savings.

A lot of people put money into their pension every month, but then never check how well the investments they have are performing. But with an online pension you can easily monitor performance and move your money if necessary.

Indeed, our Retiready platform will give you guidance and active prompts to review your retirement plans, while offering links to relevant educational material.  

Out of date approaches will hamper your plans for retirement 

If you’re not managing your pension online then the question to ask is why? If it’s because your pension provider doesn’t offer a particularly sophisticated system and its online functionality is very restricted then take the time to see just what else is available.

The reason that digital functionality is so important is that it makes it easier for you to actively engage with your pension savings, to calculate what you’ll need in retirement and to set savings targets that’ll help you achieve your goals.

And the earlier you start making and monitoring robust plans for retirement, the more likely you are to be financially ready when you decide to stop working.

By the time that the Government’s auto-enrolment legislation is fully implemented, it’s estimated there will be 9 million new pension savers in the UK. Online pensions that provide convenient guidance and high levels of functionality will make it easier for new and old pension savers alike to create the very best financial outcomes for later life.