Amid more immediate concerns about the rising cost of living, planning how you'll fund your retirement might not feel like a priority. But taking simple steps to keep your savings on track now can really pay off in the long run.
Here are six things you can do in the new year to revitalise your pensions and make sure you're on track for the lifestyle you want when you stop working.
More than a quarter of people (26%) don't know how much they and their employer contribute to their pension, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown.
You should check to see how much is going into your pension and then increase contributions if you can afford it - for example, if you've recently had a pay rise. You can also pay in a lump sum.
These contributions are calculated based on your 'qualifying earnings', which are set between £6,240 and £50,000 a year.
Some employers match your contributions, so if you can increase them, even just by 1%, it could make a big difference to your pot in the long run - especially if you start early.
This may seem obvious, but it is easy to lose track of your pensions or for information to become out of date.
Check that the details your pension provider(s) hold about you is correct by logging into your online account or checking your latest paper statement.
If you've lost track of a pension you had with a previous employer, you can use the government's , which has a register of all workplace schemes. This will give you the name and contact details of the provider of your employer's scheme, so you can contact them directly.
Also make sure you've completed a nomination of beneficiary form indicating who should get your pension when you die. It's important because defined contribution pensions are not part of your estate, so aren't covered by your will.
To make sure you're on track for the retirement you want, you'll need to have a rough idea of how much you need.
suggests that couples need an average income of £18,000 a year to cover spending on essentials, such as groceries and bills. The figure rises to £26,000 when including more spending on leisure activities, and up to £41,000 a year after tax to incorporate long-haul holidays and a regular new car.
For people living alone, those figures are £13,000, £19,000 or £31,000.
To produce the 'comfortable' retirement target of £26,000 a year, couples relying on income from a defined contribution pension (plus ) would need a pot of around £155,000 if opting for (assuming growth of 3% a year).
If there were years where you didn't get enough National Insurance credits to give you a 'qualifying year', you may find you have a gap on your National Insurance record.
IFAs are authorised to give advice and recommend suitable pension products and investment options. Many advisers will offer ongoing reviews to ensure your finances stay on track for and throughout retirement.
If you can't afford financial advice or don't want to pay for it, you can also get impartial assistance from . It is part of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and offers free government-backed pension guidance service available to over-50s.
Being proactive when it comes to your pensions is normally a good thing. However, it can leave you more exposed to scammers and fraudsters in certain circumstances.
These are the key warning signs to look out for if you are talking to someone about your retirement planning:
Offers of a free pension review - Be wary if you're contacted out of the blue. Reputable advisers won't do this, and it's often the first step in trying to persuade you to make a poor 'investment.
Time-limited offers - Don't be pressured into making a hasty decision and research a firm before dealing with them. Check the FCA register of regulated companies (), and the FCA warning list of known scam firms ().
Offers to release cash from your pension before age 55 - Not only could you lose some or all of your pot to scammers, but early access incurs a hefty tax penalty from HMRC.
Investments promising guaranteed high returns - Don't let the temptation to boost your pension steer you towards unusual investments which are unregulated and high risk.
Watch the video below to find out more about how to spot a pension scam.