Let's Talk About Pension! What To Choose? - ROCKPAPERDRESSES
Let’s Talk About Pension! What To Choose?

When yesterday I asked you on instagram whether you wanted to hear about pension, the answer was a resounding YES!

And how amazing that was! It’s important that we ensure ourselves in that way as well – in that regard, women really fall behind when it comes to gender equality. We go on maternity leave, some of us may sacrifice our careers to make family life work, some may choose to stay at home. All of those factors have financial consequences – also when we retire.

The reason why I’m mentioning it is that I promised myself – 30 at the latest. I need to start saving before 22 May! Adam and I had a bank meeting at the end of 2017. As we were taking out a mortgage for our top floor, we had to go through everything. How much do we have, what do we want to pay on a monthly basis – our financial situation was blown up on a big screen (wrong day for maxing out your credit card, ha!), and then we went through it all meticulously. And even though I’m a grown woman, I really felt small and irresponsible when we got to the word ‘pension.’ Whereas Adam has been living the corporate life for the past ten years with a pension scheme, I’ve been ‘roaming around’ as a freelancer (which doesn’t include a pension scheme) with varying salaries. Depended on overdrafts at times. I’ve had affluent months, which in some cases have had to carry me through less lucrative ones. And then I started my own business – and it does take some fuel to make the ride really fun, and I’ve had even more periods where the big pay checks have had to cover the smaller ones.

‘If something happens to Adam, you’ll get xx, Cathrine… And if something were to happen to you, then Adam will get… right around DKK 15,000. In total.’ 

Something like that. In effect, nothing! Nothing to cover him to make him capable of staying in the house, no security, nothing. I’ve rarely felt as irresponsible, haha! But hey – my economy just hasn’t been at that stage, and I’ve felt okay about it. Better late than never. And 30 years is definitely still okay! We just need to get it started! And now that we’re four in the house – I want to secure Adam and Eddie as well.

I was in full swing looking into it before I got pregnant. First step was talking to my bank – what do they recommend? And I had a phone meeting with Pension for Selvstændige (ed: Pension for the Self-employed). We reached a solution, where I needed to put aside 5,000 a month, and then, when doing the annual accounts, potentially I’d set aside any additional profits. All I needed to do was actually just push the button – but then the pregnancy came along and made it more important to me to be able to afford my maternity leave rather than saving up for my pension. ‘As long as I start before 30.’ That gave me a deadline.

But now that I’m diving into it all again, I realise that I’ve sort of changed my mind in terms of the fund. Their partner is Danica Pension – which is part of Danske Bank. Which is already my bank, and I don’t actually really feel like having everything that I own in the same company. It frightens me to think that one bank owns the building societies that lend us money and the pension funds that will have our backs when we grow old as well as functioning as our daily bank. I would like to find an alternative institution.

As such, I’ve started looking. Old school google!

I first and foremost stumbled upon Matter. It’s a newly founded pension fund – with a focus on sustainability. The way it works is that our pensions grow through investments. But into what are they invested? We often have no clue. Matter invests into sustainable companies and productions. No tobacco, no fossil fuels and no weapons. They invest in green energy, in companies with a focus on health and new technology. It sounds super exciting! And very similar to the adjustments we’re making at home. Why not also think about it in terms of this? A lot of you mentioned Matter as someone to keep an eye on.

I’ve also been looking at Grandhood, which is another new company, the way I understand it. They specialise in pensions for independent workers and small businesses. Everything is 100 % digital; they have an app – it seems transparent and simple. And most importantly, at least that’s how it might be when you’re self-employed, they have no requirements in terms of minimum saving amounts. When you have lots of fluctuations in your economy. One of you tipped me about them on instagram!

But it is quite a jungle so I’ve also considered contacting instances such as APC, which is an impartial pension advisory board. And there’s quite a lot of reading material in the public sector as well – e.g. check out, Borger.dk’s section on pension. AND then Louise mentioned Pension for everyone on instagram – they are impartial as well, meaning that they don’t have any hidden sales-related agendas.

You gave me so many tips; @msfurdeson wrote that as an independent worker it would make sense to sign up to Lederne (ed. ‘the leaders’), and in that way become part of their group agreement. Allegedly they have pretty broad admission requirements. She also recommended never signing up through your bank – as this would give you the worst deal in the world. She works in the finance and insurance industry and knows a thing or two. She’s also heard good things about PFA. As for herself, she had looked into investing independently rather than letting someone else do it for her. AND she said; ‘remember to make an insurance for lost hours at work’– in case something happens.

I’d like to follow up on this post once I’ve accumulated deeper insights. Perhaps find a partner, an advisor, who could answer some questions, Q&A-like, and inform us all?

One thing is certain; pension savings are coming my way before I turn 30! Women have to step up and secure their futures, and I actually think that, dry as it might sound, pension savings are quite a thrilling topic. Also in terms of content here on the blog – if you agree.

And then I’m presenting to you a for the post totally random picture – because otherwise it ends up looking quite naked. Mum bum <3

rockpaperdresses, Cathrine Widunok Wichmand, Julie Bjarnhoff


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