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Every month the directors at Mcphersons share some useful financial tips especially for Business in Hastings readers.  This month Ashley Gill looks at  how you could retire at 55.

  • Use you share of the £35 billion the taxman gives pension saversholidays

When you put money in a personal pension the taxman also contributes. Imagine you pay in £1,000. The taxman automatically adds another £250, so your pension pot receives £1,250. If you pay 40% or 45% rate tax, as a higher rate taxpayer you get even more.

  • Start a pension

It is thought that as many as four in ten British adults don’t have a pension. If you wish to retire at 65 on 65% of your salary, divide your age when you start your pension savings by two and contribute this as a percentage of your earnings. For example, if you’re 25 you should aim to save 12.5% of earnings.

  • If your employer offers you a pension at work, take it!

Over the coming years all UK companies will have to offer a pension to their employees. If you opt out, you could be missing out on ‘free money’ from your employer.

  • Check where your pension is invested

Half of the UK population have no idea where their pension fund is invested, but it is important to know because you could be missing good returns if you didn’t.

  • Make small regular increases

Take a person aged 30 contributing £150 net to his pension every month. If every year that person increases that amount by 5% or £7.50 a month for the first year, at age 65 he could find himself with an extra £190,642 in his pension, assuming basic tax relief and that the fund grows 4% a year after charges.

  • Trace old pensions

If you recall joining more than one pension but don’t have the details to hand, you can trace them for free with the Pension Tracing Service.

  • Approaching retirement?

Retirement rules are changing as of April 2015. If you are 55 or over, you will have a lot more freedom and flexibility on how you can draw your private pensions. Choosing how to draw your pension is one of the most important financial decisions you will have to make. Remember you may need it for 20, 30 or even 40 years. So ensure you find out about the new rules and opportunities available by speaking to McPhersons Financial Solutions on 01424 730000.

And remember, the value of pension and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.