Skip Header

Saving for retirement in your 20s and 30s

Important information - the value of investments can go down as well as up so you may not get back what you invest. Eligibility to invest in a SIPP and tax treatment depends on personal circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. The minimum age you can normally access your pension savings is currently 55, and is due to rise to 57 on 6 April 2028, unless you have a lower protected pension age.

In your 20s and 30s you’ve probably got so many priorities competing for your attention that retirement may be the last thing on your mind; it may feel so far away that you can think about it later.  But, if you start saving for retirement now (with even a moderate amount), you have one great advantage over those who start later.

Time is on your side

The images below show just how much difference it could make when you start saving and investing early – even if you put in the same amount in total as someone who starts much later.

In our hypothetical example, David starts investing £100 a month when he is 25; Mike invests £200 a month from the age of 45, so they both save the same £48,000 by retirement and reinvest the returns. Assuming a 5% annual return, the effect of compounding has longer to work on David’s investments, and so he ends up with almost twice as much as Mike.


Reasons to start now

Tax relief boost

For every £80 saved, the government provides £20 in tax relief, and you may get more back in your tax return.

The cost of delay

Every ten years you wait, you may need to pay in up to double to get the same pension income.

Longer retirements

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you’re likely to spend 20 years in retirement - or even longer.

What you can do now

Maximise your employer contributions
Set up a regular savings plan
Regularly review your payments
Keep pace with your salary increases
Bring your pensions together
Learn how investing can boost your chances

An essential guide to saving for retirement

Did you know a single person will need about £30,000* a year for a comfortable retirement? With the new State Pension paying a maximum of £9,339.20 per year, there’s clearly a gap.

Our guide provides you all the information you need to make sure you’re ready for the future you want.

Download guide >>

Source: Pension and Lifetime Savings Association - UK Retirement Living Standards October 2019.



Which? Recommended Provider for Self-Invested Personal Pensions, July 2021


Which? Recommended Providers are companies that are both rated highly by Which? the public and customers and have products that meet the high standards of Which? researchers.


What next?

If you want to open a new pension or transfer an existing pension to Fidelity, then take a look at our Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). It’s low cost and easy to manage online.

Open a pension

  • A tax-efficient way to invest for your retirement (subject to limits)*
  • Benefit from 20% government tax relief, added to your SIPP account
  • If you pay Income Tax at higher than the basic rate, you may be able to claim even more tax relief through your tax return
  • Employers can also contribute. Payments from a limited company are considered employer contributions

Transfer a pension

  • Transfer your pension to us and we’ll pay any exit fee (up to £500 per person, T&Cs apply**) that your current provider charges you
  • Applying online takes a few minutes, and depending on your current pension provider your transfer could be complete in ten business days
  • We’ll contact your providers and arrange for your investments (or cash) to be brought into your Fidelity account
  • You can track your transfer online where you’ll see the status of each transfer request

*Tax relief is only available on the lower of the annual allowance (currently £40,000) or 100% of your earnings in a given tax year. If you exceed your annual allowance you may have a tax charge to pay unless you have unused allowance you can carry forward. If you have earnings of £200,000 or more, the amount you can pay in and receive tax relief on could be ' tapered' down to £4,000. Alternatively, if you’ve already taken taxable income from your pension pot under pension freedoms, your annual allowance may be £4,000 (known as the money purchase annual allowance) and you will not be able to use carry forward to contribute to a SIPP.

For more information on tax relief and all the allowances please visit our pension allowances page.

Important information - It’s important to understand that pension transfers are a complex area and may not be suitable for everyone. Before going ahead with a pension transfer, we strongly recommend that you undertake a full comparison of the benefits, charges and features offered. To find out what else you should consider before transferring, please read our transfer factsheet. If you are in any doubt whether or not a pension transfer is suitable for your circumstances we strongly recommend that you speak to a Fidelity adviser or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

Pension savings are easier to control when they’re all in one place

Bringing your pensions together in Fidelity’s Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is one way to take control of your retirement savings. Plus get £20 to £1,000 cashback (exclusions, T&Cs apply).

Find out more

Already have a SIPP with us?

It’s easy to increase your contributions in line with your changing circumstances. Of course you can decrease them too if you need to, but it’s a good idea to take advantage of the tax relief. You can view your SIPP account online and change the amounts you pay in through your regular savings plan.

Log in to view your account

Remember, you can access your pension at 55 (57 from 2028)

One key benefit of a pension is that you can access your pension at 55 (57 from 2028) so you aren’t tempted to dip in and out until you’re eligible to take your benefits. However, if you want access to your money sooner, there are other account options, such as an ISA, that may be more suitable.

Find out about our ISA

Related articles

Financial Friday: Three ways to beat the rising cost of living

Life is getting more expensive so what can you do about it?

Maike Currie

Maike Currie

Fidelity International

5 cheap and easy ways to turbo-charge your pension savings

These simple tips can super-boost your pension pot with minimal cost or hassle

Emma-Lou Montgomery

Emma-Lou Montgomery

Fidelity International

Ed Monk

Ed Monk

Fidelity International

Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment please speak to a Fidelity adviser or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.