Articles - Millions to take first step on saving ladder

 Today (Monday) new legislation comes into force that will see more than 5m people saving into a pension for the first time ever by the end of 2018.

 NEST, the national not-for-profit pension scheme established under the legislation, has calculated that the majority of these new savers will need to put just over £2 aside each week to get them started - and if their employer pays the entire minimum contribution required by law, nothing at all.

 Automatic enrolment reforms will affect 11 million workers not currently saving into a workplace pension, of whom 46 per cent have never saved in any type of pension before. While 90 per cent of those affected by the reforms earn less than £40,000, the average wage for people who have not saved into a pension previously is just under £20,000.

 The new rules will mean that for less than the cost of a pint per week these savers will get nearly £3 from their employer and almost 60p from tax relief put into their pot as well, meaning the money going into their pot will total just under £6 per week, or £25.74 per month.

 By 2018, if they keep contributing, they will be putting aside on average about £12 per week of their own pay, in return for almost £9 from their employer and nearly £3 in tax relief. Total weekly contributions will come to an average of £23.67, equivalent to £102.95 going into their pot each month.

 NEST calculated the true cost to consumers to highlight the message that pension saving can start with small, affordable steps and to celebrate the end of its ‘Tomorrow is worth saving for' competition.

 The competition, which ran on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest during June and July, received nearly 200 entries from members of the public who came up with snappy headlines and images to illustrate the things they enjoy doing today, such as going to the cinema or going out with friends, that they'll still want to do when they retire.

 Commenting, Tim Jones, Chief Executive of NEST, said:

 ‘The winning idea from our competition is all about small, affordable pleasures, not world cruises or champagne lifestyles. We want to set realistic expectations while encouraging people to think about why tomorrow is worth saving for.

 ‘Pension saving can start small, even just £2 a week. Keeping at it and adding more over time means there'll be that bit more in retirement, which may be the difference between enjoying the little extras and going without.

 ‘Automatic enrolment is an excellent start. It will mean millions of people who have never had one before get a pension and employer contributions as well.'

 The winning idea, submitted by Lucy Richards, a mum of two from St Albans, is being published in national newspapers today to mark the start of automatic enrolment and the role NEST will play in the new pension landscape.

 Commenting on her success, Lucy said:

 ‘I'm so delighted that my idea has won! I took part in the competition because I thought it was a challenge. Pensions are a tricky subject. Not many people want to think about the future and I know from my own experience that they can be confusing. I think automatic enrolment will really help because it takes away a lot of the stress and burden of deciding what to do and how to do it.

 ‘Tomorrow is definitely worth saving for but I wanted to get across the idea that you don't need to stop enjoy your life now, just put a little aside as well to make sure you can still get the odd treat when you retire.'

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