Taking your benefits
When you take your retirement benefits, you can choose from a range of flexible options that allow you to tailor your income to your needs.
You can start taking retirement benefits any time after age 55 (even if you're still working). If you become severely ill, you may be able to take your retirement benefits earlier.
You’ll normally be able to use your plan value to:
- take a cash lump sum which can be some or all of your retirement savings, however only 25% of what you take will be tax-free
- buy an annuity which will provide you with up to 25% tax-free cash and/or income
- use Income Release, or
- a combination of all the options.
You don’t need to do anything immediately as your retirement savings can remain invested.
Introducing Income Release
Any time after age 55, you can take tax-free cash and an income directly from your plan: this facility is called Income Release.
First things first, speak to an adviser
We also believe that you should receive the best possible advice when saving or investing for your future. That's why our pensions are only available through independent financial advisers.
We recommend you discuss the options available to you with a financial adviser and/or the Guidance Service.
If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can find one in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk/find-an-adviser. Financial advisers may charge you for providing advice and they should confirm any cost beforehand.
The Guidance Service (Pension Wise) is a free and impartial service which has been set up by the government to help you understand your retirement options. The service is available online, by telephone or face-to-face. You can get further details of the service at www.gov.uk/pensionwise or call 0800 138 3944 between 8am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday. Calls cost the same as a normal call – if your calls are free, it’s included.