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Top tips to help pension pot for you fill your the future... Personal Finance correspondent Vicky Shaw looks at how to reach your retirement savings target, whatever age you start saving.

Byline: Vicky Shaw

THE drive to encourage workplace pension saving has put many people in charge of their future retirement income.

But how much should you be saving if you want to keep up the kind of lifestyle you're enjoying now? While everyone's needs are different, consumer group Which? has undertaken research that sheds some light on the issue.

A survey of more than 1,500 retired couples found, on average, retired couples said they needed PS18,000 a year to cover household essentials - such as food, utilities, transport and housing costs.

comfortaws for an viup But for a slightly more comfortable lifestyle which allows extras such as European holidays and leisure activities, they needed an annual income of PS26,000. The consumer group calculates that to generate an annual income of PS26,000, a couple would need a defined contribution pot of PS210,000 in today's money - alongside their current state pension entitlement.

e f d -n -e eennerate Based on current retirement ages and state pension entitlements, to generate a PS26,000 annual income Which? calculates couples starting saving from scratch need to be saving between them: | PS131 a month if they start from aged 20 | PS198 a month from 30 | PS338 a month from 40 | PS633 a month from 50 Fancy a "luxurious" retirement? To achieve this, couples need to build a pot of PS550,000, the research found.

To build such a pot, couples could need to save between them: | PS283 a month if they start from aged 20 | PS424 a month from 30 | PS731 a month from 40 | PS1,657 a month from 50 The calculations make certain assumptions - and as such they are an indication of what people might need to save to achieve the sort of lifestyle they expect rather than a precise prescription.

While some of the figures may look a little daunting, they do show why it's a good idea to start the savings habit young - especially if you're hoping to spend your retirement sipping cocktails by a pool. Encouragingly, the figures also show that even if you're starting to save later in life, it is still at least possible to build up a decent-sized pot.

Which? guide forr pe re has a free online at to help people plan their retirement saving.

Free guidance is also available to those nearing retirement from the Governmentbacked Pension Wise service.

anfr bse So how can you boost your chances of hitting your retirement income target? yo yo ta Sm at According to Kate Smith, head of pensions aegon, pension saving should be seen as a habit, not a chore.

She says: "An annual income of PS26,000 is achievable provided people start saving early.

"Savings from both partners also have the added bonus of an employer contribution via their workplace pension twice over.

"Realistically, few people will be in a long-term relationship from the age of 20, so it's important that they take personal responsibility and realise that the buck stops with them when it comes to pension savings.

"The key to building a good retirement pot lies in what you do in the early years to make pension saving a habit and not a chore."

TOP TIPS... TO REACH YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS TARGET Here are some tips from Kate Smith of Aegon: | Don't delay. Start saving as early as possible. Make a plan, including all your pensions and savings. | Don't opt out of your workplace pension. Save enough to maximise your employer's pension contribution. | Work out how much you've saved in pensions and other savings you've targeted for retirement, such as Isas.

| Get a state pension forecast online - Make the most of online tools and calculators to work out how much you need to save. | Regularly review your plan, your pension and savings accounts. This is especially important for women returning to work from maternity leave and those whose children have reached school age, when nursery and childcare costs are no longer an expense.

| Consider getting professional financial advice.


Saving for your pension should be seen as a habit, not a chore, says Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 6, 2017
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