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Are you nearing retirement?

It’s time to start exploring your retirement options and make important decisions

After years of paying into your pension, it will soon be time to start thinking about your options.

Usually, you can take your benefits from Scottish Widows, or transfer to any other authorised pension provider (but some occupational pension schemes work differently). When you get close to your chosen retirement date we’ll write and explain your options. Typically, this is what to expect:

About 6 months before you take your benefits
We send you an information pack outlining your benefit options. This will help you to get your thoughts together, and give you time to explore what you might want to do.
About 6 weeks before you take your benefits
We will send you a decision pack. It will contain forms that you need to complete, telling us exactly what you want to do. The pack will include an up to date pension valuation showing a range of different benefits you could choose. What you decide will depend on your personal circumstances.

Retirement Options

It’s really important to understand all of the options available to you from age 55. From the age of 55 you’ll be able to take responsibility for the money you’ve saved and access your pension pot in a number of different ways. You might want to: take some or all of it in cash, have a guaranteed income for life by buying an annuity, have a flexible income or defer your decision until later.

Our Retirement Basics section is dedicated to helping people nearing retirement understand the new pension options that came into effect in April 2015.

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.