At the moment, when you reach age 55, you'll be able to access your pension savings, even if you're still working. This is increasing to age 57 from the 6th of April 2028.

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 pension 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. Any savings left in your plan will stay invested and aim to grow.

Either way, you should bear in mind that taking large sums of money from your pension savings could push you into a higher tax bracket. This means you'd need to pay more tax.

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 aims 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:

You can turn your pension savings into a regular income - this is also called buying an annuity.

You give some or all of your pension 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 you’ve bought a secure income, 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 pension savings completely tax free.

Of course, there's no rush to do anything. You can leave your savings where they are until whenever you're ready.

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

Explore your options

We understand there's no single recipe for a successful retirement. And that your needs and goals could change as life unfolds.

Before you decide how you'd like to access your pension savings, take some time to fully understand all your options. This is because you can't always change your mind once some decisions have been made.

From withdrawing cash to taking an income, our retirement guide covers some of the options available to you.

Download our retirement guide (PDF)

What are your retirement options?

There are three main ways to access your pension savings - and you can choose one or any combination of these options. Your choices really depend on your own retirement plans, and the money you have invested in your pension plan.

Spending time looking at your options now could help prepare you for a better retirement.

Not ready to access your pension savings?

The minimum age to retire is 55, increasing to 57 in 2028. Once you've reached 55, you can access your pension savings whenever the time is right for you. You can buy an pension annuity, dip in with pension drawdown or take it all as a cash lump sum.

And, if you need more time to consider your options, that's fine too. You can choose to leave your money invested giving it more potential to grow, but it could go down in value too.

Find the support you need

Find a financial adviser

We strongly recommend talking about your retirement options with a professional financial adviser.

Find a financial adviser  about Find a financial adviser

Pension Wise

Pension Wise (external site) is a government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance.

Visit Pension Wise  about Pension Wise

Retirement planner

Tell us how much income you're looking for when you retire, give us a few personal details and we'll let you know if you're on track.

Use our retirement planner  about Retirement planner

Managing your pension