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Don’t suffer in silence

It’s never been more important to talk. The cumulative effect of Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis has taken its toll on the nation’s mental health. As financial pressures rise, you’re not alone if you’re feeling the strain.

According to research from mental health charity Mind, the mental health of nearly half (48%) of people in England and Wales has been negatively affected by the cost-of-living crisis, rising to 73% for those with an existing mental health problem.*

Talking can help us feel less alone, more able to cope and help us find the support we need.

Join the nation’s biggest mental health conversation

On 1 February, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with the Co-op, are encouraging everyone to get the conversation going as part of Time to Talk Day.

It’s a reminder to check in with a friend or arrange a catch-up over coffee to discuss how money matters may be affecting your mental health.

Let’s make a plan

It can feel like you’re stuck in a vicious cycle – money worries can impact your mental health and your mental health can impact how you manage your money. Prioritising putting aside money now for the future can also feel daunting – especially with the rising costs of everyday essentials.

Help is available though. Chatting to a Retirement Education Specialist can help you find ways to take control of your finances and save more for the future. Your retirement should be something to look forward to, and with a solid savings plan and a cost-efficient tool, that is possible.

Learn more about Shared Cost AVCs

Actively planning for your future can help put your mind at rest and keep you on track to achieve the retirement you want.

A Shared Cost Additional Voluntary Contribution (Shared Cost AVC) scheme not only allows you to make manageable contributions towards your future, but also immediate Income Tax and National Insurance savings on your money as it goes into your pension pot.

For example, contributing £100 per month for three months would only cost a basic rate taxpayer £204.36, instead of £300† – that’s almost three months for the price of two.

The scheme is also flexible, and you can change or even stop your contributions at any time. The minimum contribution is £2, and a maximum contribution will depend on how much you are paid along with other contributing factors that your Local Government employer will consider.

You should consider your affordability before making or amending your Shared Cost AVC plan.

There’s no time like the present

This Time to Talk Day, we’re listening and want to engage in the conversations that matter.

Financial and mental well-being can go hand in hand and Shared Cost AVCs can help to achieve that.

We’re here to talk and listen, so we can thrive together.

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Risk Warnings:

* (May, 2023). Source:

AVC Wise has no control or responsibility for the pages you will access through this link, or to where any subsequent links may take you.

†Figures are for illustrative purposes only. The figures shown are only estimates based on limited assumptions. Basic rate savings are displayed as a guide only. Basic rate assumes an individual paying 20% Income Tax and 10% National Insurance contributions.

You should consider your affordability before making or amending your Shared Cost AVC plan. Please speak to an independent financial adviser if you require financial advice. Shared Cost AVCs are available to active LGPS members only.  You will need to consider what investment product is suitable for you.

A Shared Cost AVC cannot be accessed until age 55, rising to age 57 from 2028.

A Pension is a long-term investment, the fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.  

Tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future.  

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of and reliefs from taxation are subject to change.

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