Get up to speed
When deciding what to do with your pension savings, there’s lots to think about. Select a question below to see what leaving it for now could mean for you and to explore your other retirement options.
What are my options?
- Decide when you’re ready
If you’re aged 55, you can access your pension savings whenever you feel the time is right. You can buy a secure income, dip in with flexible access or take it all as a cash payment.
- Continue saving for your future
You can keep saving into your plan - and benefit from tax relief on your contributions. Of course, tax rules can always change - and how much tax relief you'll benefit from depends on your individual circumstances.
- Give your savings more time to grow
As your money stays invested for longer, it'll have more time to grow.
What do I need to watch out for?
- You're still exposed to investment risk
While your money stays invested, there are no guarantees it will grow. So if your investments perform poorly, you could get back less than you started with.
- Your options could become restricted
Depending on the type of plan you have, your retirement options may become limited when you reach a certain age. That means it’s important to review your plan details regularly to see if any restrictions apply.
What happens when I die?
The pension savings you have left in your plan can be passed on to your loved ones – usually free of inheritance tax.
- If you die before age 75, your pension savings can normally be paid to your loved ones however they like, tax free.
- If you die aged 75 or older, your pension savings can be paid to your loved ones however they like, subject to tax.
Want to explore taking an income?
|Your options||Secure income||Flexible access||Take cash|
|Can provide a regular income?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Is my income guaranteed for the rest of my life?||Yes||No||No|
|Can I change how much money I receive?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Could my money run out later in retirement?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Can I do something different with my savings in later years?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Can I take some tax-free cash?||Usually up to 25% of your pension pot*||Usually up to 25% of your pension pot*||Usually up to 25% of your pension pot*|
|Find out more||Secure income||Flexible access||Take cash|
Find the support you need
You've got some big decisions ahead - and no doubt you'll have some questions.
The good news is, there's plenty of support available.
Find tailored advice that's right for you
Access free support from the government
Use our retirement planner tool
More about pensions and retirement
The tax rules when you want to take money from your pension
We can’t personalise how much tax you might pay, but we can give you some general information about how tax works.
Tax relief - know your limits
There are limits on the amount you can invest in pension plans and on the maximum value of pension savings that you can build up without being subject to a tax charge. These limits are known as the annual allowance, the tapered annual allowance, the money purchase annual allowance and the lifetime allowance.
Your pension questions answered
Find the answers to some frequently asked questions about pensions.
A guide to a secure income
A secure income is a financial product that allows you to convert your retirement savings into a regular, fixed amount of money for the rest of your life. This is also called an 'annuity'.
Investment types explained
Get to know more about deposits, equities, property and other investment types.
The new state pension - your questions answered
When the new state pension was introduced for those reaching pension age from 6th April 2016 it was intended to be much simpler than the system it replaced.
How to make sure the right person gets your pension when you're gone
Read our guide on how to make sure that the right person gets your pensions benefits.