Piggy Bank
09 Sep

20 Tips From 20 Pensions Experts - How To Retire With A Good Pension

 Piggy Bank

We would all love to have a DAM good pension when we retire, but how do we go about getting that pension pot we can be happy with? Well, here at DAM we decided the best way to find out would be to ask the experts. And that we did.

We asked some of the leading pension journalists, bloggers and industry-insiders to give one tip each for how to retire with a good pension and here are their nuggets of wisdom below.


“Pay your national insurance contributions, work hard and save into a workplace pension as much as you can. The rest is up to your provider and the markets!”

Henry Tapper, The Pensions Plowman, @henryhtapper


“Contribute, contribute, contribute. Whatever you’re paying towards your pension, it’s probably not enough. As a rough guide; remember those generous, final-salary based pensions your parents had? They ended up costing about a third of their salaries – a lot more than the current 8% minimum.”

Mark Cobley, Pensions Editor at Financial News, @fanfaronade


“Spend less, save more. The wealthy pensioner is the average man who focused on saving 10% of what he earned every day for a long time.”

Robert Gardner, Co-CEO of Redington, @robertjgardner


“Start saving for your pension as early as possible. The extra years of contributing can make a huge difference to your final pension pot, even if your investing has a few hiccups along the way.”

John Fitzsimons, Editor of, @johnthejourno


“It's a false economy not to pay for independent financial advice. Seek a trusted, reliable IFA with superior retirement planning knowledge to advise you on contributions, provider and, when the time comes, how to draw your retirement income.”

Gill Wadsworth, Freelance Financial Journalist, @gillwadsworth


“Start early and make sure that you increase your pension contribution with every pay rise that you get.”

Helen Morrissey, Editor of Retirement Planner, @pensionshelen


“Find out the maximum matching contribution your employer will put in to your pension pot, and then save at that level. Investment returns are just the side show, what really makes the difference over the long term are the contributions.”

Sam Brodbeck, Assistant Editor at Engaged Investor & Pensions Insight, @pensionssam


“Get to grips with your company pension. Check how much you're paying in - are you happy with where your money is being invested? Most people in a money purchase company scheme are in the ‘default’ fund, but this may be too cautious for some and many schemes offer a selection of funds.”

Rupert Jones, Deputy Editor of The Guardian's Money pages, @rupert_jones


“Keep active, eat your greens and enjoy what you do. Working longer through your life will guarantee a better pension.”

Alistair McQueen, Pensions & Investments Policy Manager at Aviva, @pensionsmcqueen


“To retire with a good pension, one must be realistic above all else - How much will be needed in retirement and how much must be saved, and over what period of time, to achieve that? In short, what does ‘good’ look like for the individual and what steps are they taking to realise their goal?

Simon Kew, Director of Pensions at Jackal Advisory, @pensionsjackal


“To get a good pension, work for the Civil Service or local government! Otherwise get a good pensions adviser!”

David Trenner, Technical Director at Intelligent Pensions, @davidtrenner1


“Set financial goals for a range of time horizons. Saving for retirement doesn't happen in isolation. One needs to balance short and medium term retirement objectives with the need to save for one's retirement.”

Stephen Huppert, Partner at Deloitte Australia, @stephenhuppert 


"If what you are saving is not hurting it's likely that you will be disappointed with the outcome.”

Robert Reid, Readers Editor at Money Marketing, @reidremoney


“Start a pension before you think you need to!”

Tim Boles, CEO of Equilibrium Pensions Limited, @timcboles


“Start early and take advantage of compounding. Also, make good use of higher rate tax relief if you're able, as it's looking like this benefit might be taken away soon.”

Matthew Bird, Investment Enthusiast and Blogger, @mattbird55


“My one tip would be that whilst it is understandable for all the media headlines about pensions to lead to confusion or scepticism about them, not to let that lead to apathy or inaction about your own retirement planning, as that can be the most costly mistake of all. As the saying goes, time is money!”

Phil Netherwood, Owner of Advice About Money, @adviceaddsvalue


"Don't limit yourself to pensions. An Isa can be an equally effective - and arguably more flexible - way of building up a decent income to support you in retirement."

Cherry Reynard, Freelance Financial Journalist, @creynard0654


“Be realistic, if you want to spend a third of your life at leisure, you’ll have to save like crazy whilst you’re working.”

Patrick Bloomfield, Partner and Actuary at Hymans Robertson, @patrickpensions


“Start making contributions as young as possible & contribute as much as you can, even if that means starting low & increasing over time.”

Fiona Cowie, Director of Essential HR, @hrandreward


“Start early, save more when you get a pay rise and cut out the daily cappuccinos – every little helps!”

Stephanie Hawthorne, Editor at Pensions World, @pensionsworld



And here are a couple of bonus tips (Because we love to overdeliver)!

"Don't intend to save for your future, start doing it now. And remember, your house is your home, not an investment portfolio."

Pádraig Floyd, Financial Journalist, @gogetemfloyd


"Don't put it off till tomorrow. This means taking immediate control of your finances so you know exactly what money is coming in and what money is going out. Understand the fundamental importance of discipline in money management, and exercise it every week when your pay packet comes in. Being aware of your budget, sticking to it without fail and setting aside money for tomorrow will reap huge rewards." 

Iona Bain, Financial Journalist at Young Money Blog, @ionayoungmoney



So there we have it!

20 tips from 20 of the most influential thinkers in the pensions world that should help us all think about our retirement planning a little better. Some of the tips may be brand new, while others jog the memory, but we hope you liked them all.

If you have any tips of your own, or want to reveal which was your favourite then please do comment below and we can have a discussion!

Oh, and be sure to check back for more blog posts every week on pensions, employee benefits and other financial advisory services.

(Note that none of the above tips are financial advice, nor do the tips from our experts necessarily represent the views of their employers or blogs. For fully regulated and professional advice on retirement, please visit our retirement advice page.)


Photo credit goes to kenteegardin

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