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Top tips for getting started on a pension

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As new research from the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals shows that almost half of Brits have no pension provision, we look at how you get started on saving for retirement.

1) It doesn’t have to all be about pensions. Pensions are tax efficient and increasingly flexible, but some people just don’t like the fact that they can’t get hold of their money in an emergency. If this is you, start saving through an Isa in the first instance.

2) Check what provision you have: From February 2014, employers are obliged to provide their employees with a pension scheme. You may have schemes from previous employers. It can be worth taking the time to consolidate them.

3) If you want to start a personal pension, your first step is to sign up for an investment platform such as Hargreaves Lansdown ( or Alliance Trust Savings ( You can start a Sipp (self-invested personal pension) from as little as £50 a month and will have a wide range of underlying investments from which to choose.

4) Once you have signed up for a pension, you will need to decide which investments go into it. In practice, many platforms have model portfolios and buy lists to help you decide where to invest. You could also consider a multi-manager fund, where investment selection is handed to an expert.

5) Keep saving. It doesn’t take much to build up a meaningful pot for retirement, particularly if you start early. The important thing is to do something and soon.

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