Have you considered tidying up your arrangements?
It would appear we are now increasingly becoming a ‘consolidation nation’, with many people combining their different contracts and services to make them easier to manage. It’s a growing trend, and new innovations are coming into the market all the time to tempt consumers. The recent launch of ‘quad-play packages’, which now combines mobile, home phone, broadband and TV, are a good example.
Making it easier
Research from YouGov has found that over half of us are now doing this, with reasons ranging from making it easier to keep track of costs, to keeping on top of admin. Easily the most popular thing to combine was energy, with a third of us choosing to combine gas and electricity, followed by home and contents insurance.
ust behind that comes TV, phone and broadband. But the consolidation trend hasn’t taken off in all areas. The research showed just 9% have combined their car insurances and only 3% have combined their mobile contracts to make use of mobile phone family tariffs.
Providing a clearer view
Interestingly, just 3% of those surveyed have consolidated their pension. However, this trend might change because of the reforms in the Budget announced earlier this year, giving people even more reason to consider tidying up their pension arrangements. Many of us have more than one pension, and almost two thirds of us with pensions don’t know their total value. Some pension decluttering could also make our finances simpler to manage and provide a clearer view too.
If you’re thinking about a spot of pension decluttering, it’s always good to have a plan in place first.
1. Create a list of all your pension plans and check you receive an annual pension statement – Billions of pounds worth of pension funds is going untraced as a result of people losing contact with their pension. Our website provides a free pension tracing service which allows you to find lost pensions using your national insurance number.
2. Make contact with each provider to check the value of your pension and find out what it is likely to provide at retirement – This will help you assess whether your plans are on track.
3. Understand your benefits – If you’re considering consolidating your pensions, check you’re not giving up valuable benefits such as guarantees or enhanced tax-free cash. It’s important to speak to an expert to get information on your own situation, as you may want to keep these. We offer a free pension review with one of our highly dedicated qualified financial advisers to help you improve your pension’s performance.
4. Check how your money is invested – Make sure your money is invested in funds that reflect your attitude to risk. It is important to get regular pension reviews, particularly as you get closer to the time you plan to retire.
5. Get online – See if you can view your pension savings online – that way you can keep track and see how your pension is doing more easily, so you feel more in control.