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Taking your pension savings

You can normally start taking your pension savings any time after age 55 – even if you’re still working. Here you'll find the flexible options you can choose from.

 Video transcript

When you reach age 55, you'll be able to access your retirement savings, even if you're still working. So whenever the time feels right for you, you'll find three main ways to enjoy the money you've saved.

Option one - take it all as cash.

You can have all your retirement savings paid in one lump sum. However, if you're planning to use this money to live on, you'll need to make sure it lasts for as long as you need it to.

You may also be able to take some smaller cash payments and spread them over a number of years. Either way, you should bear in mind the more cash you take out of your plan, the more you may end up giving to the taxman.

Option two - get flexible access to your savings.

If you want more control over the money you've saved, you can keep it invested in your plan while you gradually take the income you need. As your money stays invested, it still has time to grow. But there's a risk if your investments don't do well, or if you live longer than expected. Your savings could run out earlier than you'd like.

Option three - buy a secure income.

If you're worried about your money running out, you can give your savings to an insurance company. And, in return, they'll pay you a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life. Before going down this route, you'll need to be sure it suits your needs. Because once things are up and running, you won't be able to change your mind.

You can combine any of your three options. And whatever you decide to do, you can usually take up to a quarter of your retirement savings completely tax free. Of course, there's no rush to do anything. You can put things off until whenever you're ready.

To find out more about your retirement options, talk to your financial adviser, or visit

Secure income

Buy a guaranteed regular income, sometimes called an annuity, for the rest of your life.

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Flexible access

Take the income you need, when you need it.

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Cash payment

Have all your savings paid as one, or more, cash lump sums.

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Leave it for now

If you don't want to access your pension savings yet, you can leave them invested in your plan. While this means your savings can continue to grow, it also means they can fall in value - so you could end up with less money to live on.

When you come to access your pension savings, you can use a combination of these options. What's more, you're free to shop around. This means you don't need to stay with the pension provider you've been saving with - you can see who can best meet your needs.

If you're not sure which retirement option is right for you, you should speak to a financial adviser. You can also contact Pension Wise, a free and impartial retirement planning service, introduced by the government to help you understand your options.

Tax rules and legislation can change and the value of any tax benefits will depend on your individual circumstances.


Keep us up-to-date

Keep us up-to-date with any changes that could affect your retirement plans.

If you decide to change your retirement age, let us know. If you're invested in a Lifestyle Strategy, we'll make sure your money is invested in the right part of the strategy.

Did you know?

If you die before you take any or all of your pension savings, your savings could be paid to one or more beneficiaries of your choice. If you've not chosen beneficiaries or would like to change your beneficiary details you can complete the form online or download and print a paper form.

Know your limits

The government has set limits to do with pension contributions and taking your pension savings.

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Automatic enrolment

If you're aged between 16 and under 75 and work in the UK, your employer will assess your age and earnings to work out if you’re eligible.

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Contact us

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0370 850 1991