Successfully saving up for retirement is dependent both on discipline as well as strategies used to increase pension savings.
According to a 2019 report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s Gross Savings Rate was at a meagre 5.4%, which has been linked to low, irregular income. However, due to compounding effect it is possible to start saving up for retirement with as low as Ksh. 100.
In this article, we explore simple strategies that can be used to increase pension savings.
How to Increase Your Pension Savings
Bills and financial commitments make it hard to save for retirement. The following are strategies that can be used to increase your pension savings:
1) Adjust your budget
Understanding how and where your money goes can help you reduce your spending and ultimately save more. You could cut down on certain costs i.e. pack your own lunch instead of buying food everyday, and use this freed-up money as a contribution towards your pension.
2) Ensure your retirement portfolio is properly invested
Before committing to a particular scheme, compare all available options and choose the one that works best for you. The choice between a low-fee and high return investment depends on your age and willingness to take risks. Regardless of your choice, the goal should be to make whatever amount you have saved work for you. Seek advice from a professional who may be able to inform you of ways that will help increase your pension savings
3) Be consistent
Consistency is important when saving up for retirement. It is better to save the little that you can than miss making a payment which takes away the discipline of saving. One way to be consistent is to have contributions deducted from your paycheck or automate your monthly contributions. This helps you save up without having to actively think about it.
4) Increase your contributions
Any extra money that you have can help increase your pension savings due to compounding effect. One way of achieving this is by using money that was previously being spent elsewhere i.e. payment for a loan that is now completed. Another way is opting to contribute a percentage of your salary instead of a fixed amount, doing so will ensure your contributions increase with an increase in your salary.
5) Get your full employer match
Employers who offer occupational pension schemes, are likely to match contributions made towards your retirement savings. This is ‘free’ money available to help you increase your pension savings and plan for retirement. The best you could do is to decide on contributing the minimum amount that will give you the maximum contribution from your employer.
Finding the money to save is the hardest part about saving for retirement. With proper planning, money management and discipline, it is easy to not only find the money to save but also increase your pension savings over time to meet your retirement goals.