Tuesday 19 September 2017

The 60-second guide to... organising your pension and will

Independent.ie Business Desk

Independent.ie Business Desk

Pensions and wills are some of the most common things which people put on the long finger. Make 2017 the year that you either start paying into a pension (if you're not doing so already) or that you ensure that you're saving enough into one.

Many people are in for a financial shock when they retire because they are not saving enough into their pension.

The Pensions Authority has a handy pensions calculator on its website (www.pensionsauthority.ie) that allows you to check if you're saving enough to give you a reasonable pension in retirement.

Should you find there is a big gap between the pension you're expecting at retirement and the pension your current savings will deliver, then save more.

Many people assume they're entitled to the full State pension (which will be €238.30 for a 66-year-old from this March) when they retire.

However, often this is not the case - particularly if you have spent time travelling abroad, studying, or out of the workforce.

Contact the Department of Social Protection to check if you have built up enough social insurance contributions to entitle you to the full State pension. Should you find there is a chance that you won't qualify for the full pension, you may be able to make voluntary contributions to the State pension to make up for that.

Anyone who has already bought their first property should have a will in place, according to Jim Hegarty, chairman of Hegarty Financial Management. "We would always suggest that people do their will at the earliest possible opportunity - but certainly, when they're buying their first property," he said.

"By making a will, you can help avoid a family row [over how your estate is managed].

"Without a will, all you're doing is leaving a nightmare for someone to manage after you pass away.

"Your wishes may not be carried out as you would like them to be either."

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