Pension Calculator

How much do you need for your retirement? In a few seconds we'll tell you what you need for a modest or comfortable retirement.
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Pension Calculator

Pension Calculator Help

The common questions our users have about the Pension Calculator

How does the pension calculator work?

Our pension calculator is a simple tool that aims to answer one simple question for 77% of people in the UK: How much do I need in retirement?

  1. Choose whether you are single or in a relationship
  2. At the point of retirement choose whether you own your home or rent
  3. Adjust the slider to choose the age you wish to retire at

By answering these questions, our retirement calculator will give you an indicative view of how much income you will need in retirement for two different lifestyles: a modest retirement using analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and a comfortable retirement using analysis from Which?

The pension calculator will then show you how you can reach this income with a combination of your state pension and a personal pension. Adjust the slider to change your retirement date to see the impact on the size of pension pot required to achieve a modest or comfortable retirement.

Our calculator is not financial advice, you should not rely on it, speak to a qualified professional for specific advice on your pension.

What is the difference between a modest and comfortable retirement?

A modest retirement is just that. An adequate lifestyle with the ability to afford the basics in life. Your annual holiday is likely to consist of a self catering break in the UK and you will buy fresh food from budget grocery stores and eat out a few times per year.

Whilst a modest retirement might sound basic there is a great case study here of how a pensioner in the UK enjoys her modest retirement.

A comfortable retirement will allow a few extras: frequently eating out in pubs and enjoying a good range of food, plus an annual package holiday with some UK/European short breaks. In your spare time you might have membership to a local sports club or be a season ticket holder.

Why have you only listed modest and comfortable?

We have decided to portray more accurate retirement lifestyles that people in the UK can afford. There is a definition of a luxurious lifestyle from Which? that might be applicable for some people. To afford this you will need significantly more in your pension savings at the point of retirement.

What does the pension calculator include?

The pension calculator includes:

  • An indication of how much you need in retirement for two different lifestyles: modest and comfortable
  • An indication of how much the state pension will give you at the point of retirement
  • How much you will need in annual income to make up the difference to afford either a modest or comfortable retirement
  • How much you pension savings will need to be at the point of your chosen retirement to afford either a modest or comfortable retirement
  • The ability to change your retirement age to see how this impacts the total savings needed to afford your chosen lifestyle
Why is the state pension included in this calculator?

We’ve heard feedback in our customer research that the state pension isn’t much, or might disappear. We want to raise the awareness of the value of the state pension and inform our users about it as for the majority of people it will be a significant contributor to retirement income at over £8,700 per annum (based on a full state pension, and based on 35 years of continuous National Insurance contributions).

What are the assumptions?

If you’re a homeowner we assume the amount of income required per year excludes any rent or mortgage costs.

For renters, we calculated the amount you need per year for a modest retirement by including rent from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report: ‘Minimum Income Standard for the UK’. For a comfortable retirement we used the median UK rent for a three bed house for those in a relationship and a two bed flat for those who are single.

When calculating the full state pension we assume 35 years of full National Insurance contributions have been made whether you’re single, or in a relationship. It also assumes the full state pension is £168.60 per week (as at 30th April 2019).

The calculator also assumes the current state retirement age for males and females is 67.

The total pension pot(s) required at retirement assumes purchase of an annuity at the retirement age selected by the user and is calculated on the cost of an annuity in August 2018. Annuity prices change on a daily basis. There are various options that need to be considered when buying an annuity: this calculation assumes that there is no payment guarantee and that the amount received does not rise with inflation (known as a ‘level rate’). A substantially larger pension pot would be required if you needed a guarantee or for your income to rise with inflation. With this type of annuity we also assume a 50% joint life policy for a couple (but assumes neither party outlives the other). Our calculator also assumes that people do not take a 25% lump sum from their pension.

Our calculator also assumes the 2019/2020 Tax Year personal allowance of £12,500 and that the current income tax rates of 20%, 40% and 45%. These are likely to change between now at your planned retirement date.

Our descriptors of housing are only applicable if the user has selected they will be renting when they reach retirement.