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Your Later Life 2021

The five things you need to know to give you a better retirement

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Nigel Peaple

Director Policy and Advocacy, PLSA

Pensions remain one of life’s great mysteries. Do I have enough saved? How do I use it when the time comes to retire?

1) Eligibility for pensions

Most working people in the UK who work, or undertake caring responsibilities, will be eligible for a State Pension if they have worked and paid National Insurance contributions or been a carer for at least 10 years. If they have done so for 35 years, they will receive a full state pension, currently worth around £9,350 per year. This can be drawn at that level when a person is between 66 and 68 years of age depending on their date of birth.

2) Automatic enrolment in a workplace pension

The Government also helps people make extra pension savings by ensuring most workers are automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. The value of that pension depends on the level of contributions both you and your employer make. There is also some support from the Government through tax measures, in particular, when you draw your pension, 25% of the sum is free of tax. If you are not automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, you can either ask to join it or save in some other way.

3) Tools to help plan for retirement

For many people, the best way to have an adequate income in retirement is to save gradually over the whole of their working life and save what they can afford. The PLSA has produced its Retirement Living Standards to help savers picture the future for what life in retirement looks like at three different levels of expenditure: Minimum, Moderate and Comfortable. These look at all aspects of day-to-day costs such as weekly food shopping, the cost of transport, going out and holidays.

Roughly speaking, a single person will need about £10k a year to achieve the minimum living standard, £20k a year for moderate, and £30k a year for comfortable.

For many people, the best way to have an adequate income in retirement is to save gradually over the whole of their working life and save what they can afford.

4) Choices about drawing your pension

When savers get to retirement, they can choose how they draw their workplace pension savings. For example, you can select a product that pays a fixed amount every month (an annuity), take a more flexible option where you can vary what you draw but the amount is not guaranteed (drawdown) or take cash as a lump sum. Savers can also choose a mixture of these approaches.

5) Information and advice is available

Free guidance and information is available from the government-backed MoneyHelper and Pensions Wise services or you can seek personalised advice from an independent financial adviser.

More information can be found at www.retirementlivingstandards.org.uk

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Home » Lifestyle » The five things you need to know to give you a better retirement

Partnering to help make businesses dementia friendly

Charlotte Matier

Director of Development, Alzheimer’s Society

Fermín Martínez
de Hurtado Yela

Sustainability Strategy Manager, Santander UK

People living with dementia worry about their financial independence. That’s why a high street bank has partnered with Alzheimer’s Society to make its services as dementia friendly as possible.

By 2025, it’s estimated that one million people will be living with dementia in the UK. It’s not just an issue for those living with the condition either, because it impacts carers and family members too.

That’s why organisations have to do more to make their services and products as dementia friendly as possible, stresses Charlotte Matier, Director of Development, Alzheimer’s Society.

Take banking, for example. “This is one of the biggest challenges facing people affected by dementia, because they are concerned about losing their financial independence,” says Matier. “They worry about using cash machines and having to deal with different automated tasks or remembering their PIN and security questions. Plus, they are more vulnerable to fraud because they may be less able to judge if a message they receive is a scam.”

So, in 2019, in an effort to become more dementia friendly, Santander formed a partnership with Alzheimer’s Society. This has spawned various initiatives, including the Santander Dementia Steering Group — made up of people affected by dementia — who review Santander’s processes and products; a roster of Santander colleagues who volunteer their time to make Companion Calls to to people affected by dementia for a chat and to check on their wellbeing; and a fundraising drive which has raised over £1.5 million.

Being part of the Santander Dementia Steering Group is empowering for those of us who have dementia. We can have a voice and make changes for the better. Hopefully what we are achieving alongside Santander will in turn help lots of others.’

Tracey, a member of the steering group who is living with dementia

Embedding dementia awareness into a business 

When embarking on a strategic partnership such as this, it’s vital to involve all members of an organisation — from junior team members to senior leadership — from the very start of the process. “Colleagues across the bank had the opportunity to vote on who our charity partner should be,” explains Fermín Martínez de Hurtado Yela, Sustainability Strategy Manager, Santander UK. “It was a good way to get everyone’s engagement from the beginning.”

Once the partnership was formalised, it aimed to deliver mutual benefits for both organisations. “That’s why two colleagues from Alzheimer’s Society have been seconded to our organisation,” explains Martínez de Hurtado Yela. “They are able to leverage our knowledge — and we are able to leverage theirs, ensuring strategic alignment to deliver on a common ambition.”

Dementia awareness to empower colleagues 

The bank has also invited colleagues to join Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme, an initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia aiming to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. This has been taken up by 54% of colleagues. “There is still stigma surrounding dementia,” says Matier. “Awareness helps employees understand more about the condition – what it is and what it is not – meaning they are much better placed to support customers affected by it.”

The Santander Dementia Steering Group uses their lived experience to review the bank’s products and services to make sure they are dementia friendly. An example of this is making the cash machines experience more dementia friendly through use of accessible colours, language and sequencing as well as launching a Carers Card Account, so a carer can have their own card and PIN to help with shopping, getting cash and paying bills.

During Dementia Action Week in May, the bank also launched an external campaign encouraging customers to inform the bank of their dementia diagnosis, to ensure they are accessing support and suitable products, and supported Alzheimer’s Society’s petition to urge the Government to reform social care, and supported Alzheimer’s Society’s petition to urge the Government to reform social care, and supported Alzheimer’s Society’s petition to urge the Government to reform social care [repeated sentence, delete]. 

Dementia awareness and support is now part of the bank’s culture. “One of the strengths of our partnership is that it has delivered holistic outcomes, not simply single solutions to individual challenges,” says Martínez de Hurtado Yela. “The feedback we’ve had from colleagues is that customers and colleagues affected by dementia have responded very positively to it.” 

For information about the dementia-friendly banking initiatives access santander.co.uk/personal/support/supported-banking/dementia

To get support and advice about dementia please contact Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line (0333 150 3456) or visit alzheimers.org.uk. More information about how to take part in our fundraising activities like Memory Walk is also available on our website.

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