Estimate the size of your pension pot for your retirement with our free online pension pot calculator.
Background – Why I created this Pension Pot Calculator
If you would rather skip straight to the pension pot calculator, scroll down!
So I’m in my early forties and I have been contributing into work-provided personal pensions since I started work out of university. These are the types of pensions where you and your employer both contribute a percentage of your salary into your pension pot.
Every year I receive my pension statements and worry that I won’t have enough put away for a decent retirement income. This is despite me contributing the maximum that my employer’s scheme will allow. When I look at the pension pot retirement forecast I always feel disappointed at how much, or ratger how little, they say it will provide in retirement. It would make you wonder why you are bothering to save for such a pittance of a return.
In a fit of desperation, I spent a couple of hours with spreadsheets and entered my annual pension contributions and pension pot valuations from my pension statements, going back to when I started saving. What I found startled me, in a good way.
What I found was that my simple spreadsheet was able to predict a pension pot value at retirement that was 3 or 4 times what my pension statement predicted.
Why the big difference? It seems my pension statements are assuming that I stop my contributions and just let the current pension pot sit there and earn a little interest. Whereas in reality I’ve got perhaps another twenty-something years of contributions to go. And assuming all goes well, my annual salary should increase a bit each year, which means the annual contributions as a percentage of salary should increase too.
I will attach a copy of my spreadsheet for you to try out for yourself.
The calculator below is a basic but effective pension pot calculator. There are of course some assumptions:
– You will remain in employment from now until your retirement
– You and your employer will continue to contribute the same percentage of your salary
– Your annual salary will increase gradually between now and retirement
Note: This is only an estimate of how large your pension pot will be at retirement. It makes no comment on the potential buying power of that pension pot. That’s a whole different ball game and there are too many variables in play that change every year. Suffice to say that the pension pot required to buy an annual pension income of £X,000 per year has changed significantly in the last 20 years and it will likely do so again over the next 20 years. So I will leave that guessing game to others!