Weigh up paying into a work pension scheme

Have you started a new job and been offered auto-enrolment into a pension scheme for the first time but are worried that you'll struggle to meet your living expenses?

Even if retirement is a long way off, or you’ve got immediate costs you need to cover it’s still worth starting a pension.

They are a great way to save for the future and can offer you financial security once you’ve stopped working. They’re also good value for money as your contribution is topped up by both your employer and the government.

If you’re worried that auto-enrolment will make it harder for you to keep up with your living costs, ask your employer how much your monthly contribution will be.

Then add up the cost of your monthly expenses and take this away from your income, which should include your pensions deduction.

It’s also worth seeing if you’re able to start receiving tax credits or a benefit such as housing benefit, council tax reduction and universal credit to help with your living costs. You could also look at other ways to save money such as energy saving and other general household costs.

You will be automatically signed up to auto-enrolment so if you want to opt out you’ll need to tell your employer. Make sure you do this within one month to get a refund on the contribution you’ve made.

For further help understanding your options you can call 03004568390 weekdays 9am to 4pm or come in to Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts, Town Hall, Bank Road, Matlock, Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 4pm or Fridays from 10am to – 2pm.

Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts offers free, confidential and independent advice on any subject.

l Roger Naden is advice services manager for Citizens Advice Derbyshire District.