Posted by Julia Roxan on 26 September 2017

I’ve just started a new job and am being offered auto-enrolment in a pension for the first time. Do I have to join the scheme? I’m worried about meeting my living costs if I do.

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 gets 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 Universal Credit to help with your living 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.