• Unique venture provides a place for people to come together and share ideas, experiences and support – the Society’s latest way of ‘giving something back’ to its communities
  • Insights from real people, independent contributors and industry experts, to inspire and inform current and future retirees
  • “…I survive on £10,000 a year”; “…my skills are my ticket to travelling the world”; “…I’ll  be providing free childcare to my grandchildren” – a taster of retirement realities being shared on retiresavvy.co.uk.

Skipton Building Society is launching a unique online community, retiresavvy.co.uk, to encourage and empower people to take control of their own financial futures.

With the new pension rules introduced on 6 April 2015, people are facing more confusion and uncertainty than ever about what will become of their pensions and the options available to them once they retire.

Recognising that consumers need more help, Skipton has created this resource for people who are approaching and in retirement. It will help people prepare for the retirement they want by offering information, real-life case studies and peer to peer support and discussion via a live forum.

Originating in Skipton’s commitment to Community & Corporate Responsibility, retiresavvy.co.uk is just one of the ways that the Society is giving something back to the communities in which its members live and work. Skipton was established 162 years ago to solve a major social issue of the time by helping ordinary people to build their own homes. Now it is tackling one of today’s most pressing issues – retirement readiness.

Through a combination of blogger insight, journalist pieces and expert tips, we are addressing some of the top concerns of the nation, asking pressing retirement questions, including ‘How much do I need to retire?’ ‘What age can I retire?’ ‘How much should I be paying into my pension?’  ‘What can I do with my time in retirement?’ ‘I want to retire early, what do I need to consider?’ ‘How can I make connections in retirement?’ and ‘How can I make sure my loved ones are taken care of after I’m gone?’ – 

Retiresavvy will help to demystify retirement through:

  • A live forum, where users can ask questions and join in debates to get better informed and have a say on any issues that matter to them;
  • Real stories from people preparing for and living in retirement;
  • A team of varied  contributors, including respected bloggers and award-winning journalists, with diverse views and perspectives about all aspects of retirement;
  • Regular polls to gain real-time insight into what really matters to users;
  • Useful, bite-sized hints and tips from industry experts;
  • Insights into and analysis of the latest retirement news;
  • Downloadable guides and links to trusted sources of other help and information;
  • A dedicated, in-house editorial team.

David Cutter, Skipton Building Society’s Group CEO, said: “Retirement is a major social issue of today. In a landscape characterised by uncertainty, changing government legislation and increasing life expectancy, today’s 50-plus generation could be forgiven for not knowing where to turn.

“We’re already doing something about this, with our Retirement Review Service, to help people to picture and plan towards their futures, but we want to do even more.

“Now we’re proud to add retiresavvy.co.uk to our range of tools that help people planning their retirements.  We aim to help plug the huge gap in retirement information that exists in today’s society, despite the growing complexity and urgency of this issue.”

Dr Ros Altmann CBE, the UK Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, and an independent expert on consumer finance, pensions and retirement, said:  “I’m really pleased to see Skipton has taken the time and trouble to develop this resource. Helping people plan ahead is so important, and I welcome the fact that retiresavvy is not just about financial planning, but much more.”

“There is certainly a need for this, as too many people fail to plan their future life and don’t make the most of their later life opportunities,” she said.

“Retirement is not just about money – it is something that has a major impact on people’s lives and their families – and you really need to be prepared for it.”

“The best way to do that is to learn from others and chat to people about new opportunities and ideas that are opening up for later life in the 21st Century.  Retirement is changing, with a more gradual end to working life, but not everyone can do that so easily.  Therefore learning from the experiences of others can be invaluable.”

The Society realised there was an urgent need for a resource like retiresavvy.co.uk after research it conducted showed that 39% of people were not confident in their own financial plans for retirement. Two in five said they are underprepared for their retirement.

In 2014, the Society launched its Retirement Review Service in direct response to this feedback.  It aims to understand customers’ individual future aspirations and provide them with a holistic, personalised financial roadmap to help achieve them. Where appropriate we can arrange an appointment with a qualified Financial Planning manager from our wholly owned subsidiary Skipton Financial Services Limited, who can provide investment and pension advice.

While benefitting from the backing of Skipton as a respected mutual financial services brand, retiresavvy.co.uk is a community in its own right. It has its own ethos and purpose centred around giving those planning for and in retirement a powerful voice through its rich and varied content and its live forum.

After testing the site with the help of a group of around 300 volunteer users, retiresavvy.co.uk will launch on 21 April, complete with a forum.

Its dedicated editorial team is calling out for more people to join in this rich conversation and share their stories.

Retiresavvy Senior Manager Clare Mahood said: “Our retiresavvy editorial team is absolutely dedicated to providing irresistible, helpful content that will help to demystify retirement by encouraging people to look afresh at their plans for later life and consider taking positive action to improve their positions.

“We welcome involvement from anyone who would like to add to the richness of the discussion, either as a contributor or as a user.”