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It's never too late to save

Illustration of older man in wheelchair

If you’ve come to this page, you may well be thinking that you’ve left it too late to make any real difference to your retirement prospects. But however old you are and whatever the amount you are able to pay into your pension, it’s never too late to make a difference.

With a workplace pension, contributing a small percentage of your earnings over time brings you the benefit of employer contributions, tax relief and the compound effect of long-term saving. With a traditional savings account, you miss out on these extra contributions and it’s unlikely your money would keep up with inflation when interest rates are low. 

So while it’s ideal if you can start saving into your pension earlier rather than later, contributing regularly into your pension, even if you’re fast approaching retirement, is still better than doing nothing. Read more on why you should save into a workplace pension.

What could I get if I start saving later in life?

You’re never too old to grow your money. As an example, let’s say you start making monthly contributions into your Nest pension when you’re 55. Making a personal contribution each month of £50 would mean you’d get an employer contribution of £38 and a further £13 in tax relief. By the time you reach 66 you could expect to have earned a retirement pot of £14,449. 

However, if you choose to leave your money in your account for a further 2 years, you’d get a pot worth £17,555. That means that in just 2 years you would have built up an extra £3,000. 

It’s worth remembering that you don’t need to take your money out of your account when you reach state pension age. Waiting an extra two or three years – with the option to carry on making contributions as and when you can – means a bigger pot when you retire. 

You can change your expected retirement date at any time by logging in to your Nest account.

Joining a workplace pension when you’re older

It’s never too late to save

Joining a workplace pension when you’re older - what you need to know.

How much do I need to save for the retirement I want?

There's no need to feel disheartened if you find your current retirement saving plans don't support the retirement you want to have. To work out how much you’ll need, there are 3 core things you need to do:

  1. Think about the retirement you want and the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy. What are the things you need and what are the things you want?
  2. Add this information into the Money Advice Service’s pension calculator and adjust the fields to find out what your likely retirement income could be. With this tool, and an idea of the amount currently in your pension pot, you can discover if your present savings plan will be enough to fund the retirement lifestyle that works for you.
  3. Check out our guidance on growing your pension, especially if you want to bridge the gap between your current savings situation and your desired retirement income. You can find more guidance here.