Retirement options

When the time is right for you to retire, we can help you access your pension in a way that suits your retirement needs.


Deciding how to take your pension

What you do with your pension at retirement is an important decision. It’s a chance for you to decide how to take the money you’ve saved over the years and put it towards your future.

There are several different ways for you to take your pension. They each give you the flexibility you need when you come to access your pot. You can take 25% of your pot tax-free, with the rest being subject to tax. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change.

It’s worth considering which option is the right one for you.

Your choices at retirement

The earliest you can usually access your pension savings is age 55 (rising to 57 from April 6, 2028). It’s worth considering if this is the right time for you to take your benefits. Generally, the longer you can leave your pension untouched, the better. There’s no maximum age to retire. So, although you can’t continue contributing into your pension over the age of 75, you can keep your pension intact as long as you like. It’s also possible to take a combination of these options.

Leave it invested

You can leave some, or all, of your pension savings invested for now.

This might be the right option for you if you’re still considering your options or have other income to rely on for the time being.

Take it as cash

You can take some, or all, of your pension savings as cash. 25% of that can be tax-free.

Depending on how much you take as cash in one go, the tax on it could be much higher than you’re used to.

Take it as regular income (Annuity)

You can take up to 25% of your savings as tax-free cash and then use some, or all, of your remaining pension savings to buy a guaranteed income for life. This is also known as an annuity.

You can choose different features and options to protect your income for your family if something happens to you.

Please note, our Ready-Made Pension doesn’t offer an annuity option, but we can help you find a provider that does.

Take it as flexible income (Drawdown)

You can take up to 25% of your savings as tax-free cash before using some, or all, of your remaining pension savings to enter into a flexible income arrangement. This is known as income drawdown.

This allows you to take the money from your pension savings as taxable income, leaving it invested until you need it.

Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits, which isn’t guaranteed and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.

More about your retirement options

If you’ve got a Ready-Made Pension with us, our partners, Scottish Widows, are here to support you with your retirement. They’ll provide useful checklists and information to help you decide how and when to retire.

Scottish Widows logo

Scottish Widows Retirement

How much will you need for retirement?

Use our pension calculator as a guide to see what your retirement income could look like. See how making changes to your contributions or retirement age could make a difference to your future.

Pension calculator

Don't have a pension with us?

Open a Ready-Made Pension

This is a long-term pension built and managed by our experts. We’ll invest your money based on your chosen retirement age, lowering the level of risk as you near retirement. We do all the hard work, so you don’t have to.

Ready-Made Pension

Combine your pensions

If you have one or more pensions you no longer pay into, you can combine and transfer them into a brand-new Ready-Made Pension. Transfers must be at least £10,000 when opening an account. Once opened, additional transfers can be £1,000 or more.

Combine your pensions

Need some advice or guidance?

Pension Wise logo

Planning for your retirement is an important step towards financial security in later life.

You get free help and guidance through Pension Wise. If you're over 50, you'll also benefit from a free 60 minute appointment.

If you’re unsure which option to choose, we recommend you speak with a financial adviser. They will charge you for this service. You can visit Unbiased or Vouchedfor to find a financial adviser near you.

Alternatively, our partners Schroders Personal Wealth could also help. Fees and charges may apply.

Contact us

Our team are here to answer any questions you may have about accessing your pensions. Call us on the number below and we can help get you started.

0330 123 3269