More people are switching on to the notion that retirement has to be planned and saved for – inspired by recent pensions changes and the coverage that has been stimulated by the upheaval.
Pensions debate is popular and passionate at the moment. And this fervent discussion also expectedly permeates online: a quick check on Google Trends – which illustrates search and online news data over time – reveals huge spikes in news coverage and discussion volumes since 2010 and the issue has probably not yet reached its peak.
Changes are also universal; effective in almost every sector and workplace across the land. As recently as this week it was reported that Tesco’s ‘defined benefit’ pension scheme will require up to two years’ more work to claim, and the amount awarded could be less generous than before: Tesco has followed the Government’s lead in linking pension to the slower-rising Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) that was previously used.
Against this stormy backdrop, retirement planning is now more important than ever before. Here are some key websites that can help you keep on top of the changes that will undoubtedly be introduced over the coming years:
DirectGov: Government information
The Government is behind most of the legislation that will change pensions for better or worse. It’s therefore logical to keep abreast of these changes by digesting the most up-to-date official information, despite the fact that very little of this information is going to be coloured by the debate and opinion that has presented pensions issues to the general public.
DirectGov is the Government’s main website for public services and contains calculators, resources, multimedia and up-to-the-minute information on changes – including specific areas that focus on pensions and financial planning.
The Pensions Advisory Service: Independent information and guidance
For some more impartial advice and information, the Pensions Advisory Service – an independent voluntary organisation grant-aided by the Department for Work and Pensions – is a good point of call.
Like DirectGov, the site contains helpful resources and tools but with a bit more interactivity, discussion and assistance too. A live online Q&A is regularly held, with the next one scheduled to be hosted on 9th May.
MoneyVista: Online financial planning
The award-nominated financial planning services provided by MoneyVista can complement and logically extend the advice the information that’s afforded by traditional websites by facilitating the creation of a personal financial plan that can be accessed and modified online.
In addition, the calculators and forums that have made existing financial advice sites like Money Saving Expert so popular are also present.
Pensions are changing fast but using the websites above, while digesting news sources and online debate, will help to make sure that you have all the knowledge you need to effectively save for the future.