Retirement Planner

The Money Matters team, with First Actuarial, have built this Retirement Planner to help you plan towards having enough money when you stop work at retirement.

By entering your information into the Retirement Planner, you will build up a picture of what your income in retirement might be, taking into account lots of possible sources, and comparing this with what you might need. You can also see the estimated impact of making some changes to your planning in the “My Retirement Plan” section.

The aim is to give you a helpful overview of your plan for retirement.

All figures are approximate, rounded to the nearest £100 and based on assumptions. You can see what assumptions are used by following the link here. For more accurate information you should contact the Unilever UK Pension Fund and any other pension providers that you may have. Contact details for the Unilever Pension Fund can be found here.

All figures are in “today’s money terms” so the amount set out is comparable with the cost of living today.

The Retirement Planner is intended as a guide only. It does not provide any Financial Advice. You should consider taking independent financial advice before making any decisions regarding your pension or savings generally.

Once you've read the above, click to LAUNCH THE RETIREMENT PLANNER.

How much do I need - setting a target

It is likely that you will already have started thinking about how much you are going to need, but if you haven’t already done so, it’s important to start thinking about this.

There are lots of ways to do this and lots of places that can help you, for example:

One way to think about what you are going to need in retirement is to note down everything that you think you are going to need to spend your money on after you retire. It’s important not to miss anything out. The websites above will help you to do this. They remind you to include everything that you would spend in a year – from TV licence fees to pet insurance or toiletries to Christmas presents.

It is a good idea to think about what you need to live on, and the extra you would like on top of this in order to have the lifestyle in retirement that you would like.

You can find some tables that might help you do this here. If you choose to have a 121 session at retirement with a pensions expert, you will be sent an At Retirement Booklet to help you prepare. There is a section in this booklet called “What is your target income in retirement” which contains information about working out your target income, and an example of how someone has already done this.

What am I building up for retirement?

When you think about your financial future in retirement you need to think about every source of income that you will have.

Getting all this information together may take a bit of time, but it is really important to do so because you can then put it all together to give you a feel for what you will have to live on when you retire. If you are closer to retirement, an "At Retirement 121 session can also help, find out more here: 121 session.

There are lots of things to consider, such as the following:

Life Expectancy Modeller

You can get an idea of how your savings might help you in retirement by working out your total savings and dividing this by how long you think you might live in retirement. This will give you an idea of the amount you could take out of your savings each year to add to your other income.

It’s impossible to know how long you will be retired, but assuming somewhere between 20 and 25 years will give you an idea (if you are retiring early then something longer than this would be sensible). Remember this is intended to give you a very rough idea of how your savings could help you.

To see how long you might expect to live, you can use our 'Life Expectancy' modeller which can be found here.

Ensuring you have enough

Once you have gathered information on all the sources of your expected retirement income you can put these together. You will then be able to see how this compares to what you need in retirement.

You can do this on a chart like the one here – that has been completed for someone who has gathered all their information together.

This chart below shows:

  • The income this person thinks they need in retirement to cover the essentials.
  • The income this person would ideally like to enable them to do all the things they plan to do in retirement.
  • The various different pensions that the person will be getting, shown as starting at the relevant age.

This doesn’t show what additional income this person might be able to get from their savings and assets – so for this person, he or she can think of their savings and assets as being used to fill any gaps (see below) or to cover one off items, additional spending, special holidays and/or longer term care cost.

If you choose to have a 121 session at retirement with a pensions expert, they will help you to think about whether you are expecting to receive enough in retirement.

You can use the blank chart here to try to do this for yourself.

Note about inflation: In this chart we have ignored the effect of inflation or future pension increases. Of course as prices rise during your retirement, you will need more income in order to afford to buy the same things - but increases to your pensions in payment will help. If you concentrate on the amount of income you'll need at the point of retirement and the amount of pension benefits you will receive at that time, then these can be easily compared.

Filling in the gaps

Doing this will show any gaps between what you need and what you are going to get, and this can then help you to identify if you need to do anything to fill the gap. For example this may be where you could use your savings and other assets. In the example above, the person won’t be receiving their State Pension from 65 to 67, and while their expected income is enough to meet their needs, it isn’t as much as they ideally want. So savings could be used to fill the gap.

Alternatively you might decide that you need to continue earning some money for a while.

Either way, it is very good to be aware of these things as early as possible, so that you can make appropriate plans.