No more missing out on 'free money'

New rules mean that from 2012 most workers will be automatically signed up to a pension scheme, and benefit from employer contributions to their pension fund. If you struggle to think about your pension provision – or lack of it - then you're not alone. But many workers are missing out on contributions from their employer by failing to join company schemes. According to new research from the Department for Work and Pensions around six in ten workers in the private sector do not currently contribute to a workplace pension.

Retirement saving may seem less pressing than paying off a student loan, saving for a deposit for a home, or paying off the mortgage, but employer's contributions can make a big difference to your pension savings pot. Under new rules, from 2012 all employers will have to automatically enrol staff in a pension scheme after three months service, and make contributions to their pension. The new rules aren’t quite as generous as had been expected, and you'll still be able to opt out if you prefer to make your own arrangements, but the reform is still expected to get millions of new people saving. Many smaller firms which do not currently have a scheme are expected to opt to use a new government-run pension scheme, called NEST (National Employment Savings Trust), which promises low costs and charges. As many as 13 million people are currently employed in jobs where their employer does not provide a pension scheme at all.