19th December 2014 at 1:40pm
We’ve teamed up with reality TV stars Steph and Dom Parker of Gogglebox fame to help people get to grips with how pension changes will affect them from next April.
With that aim in mind, we sent Steph and Dom, along with a film crew, to a venue not too unfamiliar to our intrepid pair – a London pub. We thought this would be great chance to have our genial duo chat to the locals over a drink or two about their plans for the future and the upcoming pension changes.
We even managed to grab some time during filming breaks and runs to the bar to grill the famous TV couple about their own plans. What we got was a fun and interesting insight into their own world. It was also encouraging to hear how the chats had got them thinking too.
Standard Life: How did the filming go?
Steph: Well, I thought it was all quite interesting, I have to say. There’s a lot out there about what’s happening to pension savings that’s either being misunderstood or people don’t really understand. We don’t really understand.
Dom: Yeah. It’s quite evident there is still uncertainty about what’s going to happen to pensions. There’s a lot of room for clarity.
Steph: Well life is confusing. We’re all confused about everything.
Standard Life: What did you pick up on?
Dom: We’ve learned a lot actually. What I think I’ve learnt from today about my pension pot and your pension pot is…
Steph: It’s our pension pot.
Dom: Ours, yes of course, silly of me… is that we can access our pension savings from the age of 55, which is in five years’ time.
Steph: I didn’t know that – that’s really exciting.
Dom: That’s if we want it, if we need it.
Steph: We do want it, we do need it. Or perhaps some of it anyway.
Standard Life: What did you find most surprising when you were talking to people about their plans for the future?
Steph: One of the things that surprised me was people’s desire to spend the money they have saved up so that they can leave the country and get away from their day-to-day lives.
Dom: It did surprise me too actually and, if anything, it worried me a little bit. There was possibly a little bit too much of people thinking, “I can now access a bucket load of money, let’s go and have a wonderful time, without too much thought about what’s left.”
Steph: And whether that’s enough to last them for as long as they need it to.
Standard Life: What do you really know about your own pension?
Steph: Have we got a pension, where is it?
Dom: Yeah – well, you’ve got your pension and I’ve got my pension.
Steph: Well, who are you going to leave it to?
Dom: The cat.
Steph: Do you know who your pension is with?
Dom: Yes, I do – it’s with Standard Life.
Standard Life: Do you think you’ll ever properly retire?
Dom: No, I don’t think so. I’ve never considered I’d be happy having nothing to do.
Steph: I would love to have nothing to do!
Dom: I mean what are you going to do? Walk around the house all day looking out of the windows?
Steph: Bloody marvellous! I’ll watch Countdown.
Dom: So you’ll just watch telly all day?
Steph: Yes! And go shopping. I can quite happily see myself putting up my boots and not doing our bed and breakfast business any more.
Standard Life: If you could go back and change things about your savings, would you?
Steph: When we were 20, I did nothing.
Dom: Well, I did set something up when I was about the age of 20 or 21, but if I were to go back there now, I would’ve paid much more attention to what I was actually doing.
Steph: I mean you know what you know now, but when you’re 21 you think every penny is worth another beer.
Dom: Ha, yeah, I suppose.
Steph: There’s also that impression that if you save money or get a pension, you’re being grown up. Why does it have to have an association with being grown up, just because you’re actually using your brain?
Standard Life: Do you have any plans to retire?
Dom: I think we will carry on working now.
Steph: But are we actually working now?
Dom: Well yeah, of course we are.
Steph: Yeah? Well I don’t see you getting up and making breakfast in the morning.
Dom: Well I don’t see you getting up.
Steph: Ha, see I’m not saying I do work.
Dom: Well the thing is that work is work. As far as the pension is concerned, you chuck in your money, you get to a certain age, and they give it back to you.
Watch Steph and Dom have a chinwag with pub goers here.
Remember, pensions are a long-term commitment and the value of any money you keep invested can fall as well as rise and could be worth less than you’ve paid in. Normally 25% of your withdrawals are tax-free and you may have to pay tax on the rest. Tax rules can change – so stay up to date.
This blog should not be regarded as financial advice.