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Pensions experts are warning the public not to wait for a Government scheme to save for their retirement.

A plan to ensure all employees put money aside in a pension pot, unless they opt out, was today officially named the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).

But that scheme, to help combat the pensions timebomb many are predicting, won't be fully operational until 2017 (see the Pension MoneySaving guide).

Financial adviser firm Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) says a 25-year-old earning a typical £25,000 a year who delays saving until they are 30 could see their private pension retirement income fall by one third.

Virtually everyone who saves in a pension gets full tax relief on the amount deposited. In addition, many employers top-up your contributions if you use their scheme.

A basic rate taxpayer who saves £80 a month will see their pension pot topped upped with £100, including the tax relief, plus whatever their employer pays.

Tom McPhail, from HL, says: "I am optimistic Nest will help millions of non-savers build up a decent retirement pot.

"The key message is don't delay. Enrolment into Nest won't be fully up and running until 2017 and every year of delay means a lower eventual pension."

National pension scheme

From 2012, all employers must offer a company pension to workers and all eligible employees must be automatically enrolled into this scheme, though they can opt out. It will be gradually phased in.

Employers must contribute at least 3% of your salary in most cases, and the total minimum amount saved must be 8%, made up of employer contributions, worker contributions and tax relief.

Minister of state for pension reform Angela Eagle says: "These reforms will ensure millions of workers on low and moderate incomes are able to save for their retirementwith a new guaranteed minimum contribution from their employer."

Further reading/Key links

Boost pension: State Pension
Pension MoneySaving: Pensions