When can you take your pension?

Did you know that you can choose when to retire thanks to new pension rules?

Taking your pension

Once you reach 55 you can access your pension pot. You can then leave it so it has the potential to continue to grow, or take some or all of it to use as you need.

When you take your pension, some will be tax-free but the rest will be taxed.

Please be aware that tax depends on your circumstances, which can change. Tax rules can also change in the future.

What are my options when I take my benefits?

It’s up to you how you take benefits from your pension pot.

You now have greater flexibility on how you can take your pension pot. You’ll still get part of your pot tax-free, but what you do with the rest is up to you. So you could buy an annuity, take some and leave some invested, take it all in one go, leave it where it is or even a combination of these.

Explore your pension options

What is worth remembering is that once you’ve had your tax-free lump sum, the rest of your pot may be taxed.

It’s good to have choices when it comes to pensions and your retirement, but it’s also important to understand all your options and any impact your decision may have on your future. You don’t have to make a decision on what to do with your pension pot now, but it’s worth thinking ahead so you’re ready when you do.

How long will my pension pot last?

How long your pension pot lasts will depend on the choices you make. From age 55 you’ll be able to access the money within your pension pot in a number of different ways.

Here are some of the options to help you think your pension strategy through. You don’t have to stick to just one option, as you could combine several.


Buy an annuity and this will provide an income for the rest of your life. With this option, the provider takes responsibility for your money, guaranteeing to pay you an agreed regular sum until you die.

With an annuity, you may get more or less money than you put in depending on how long you live after your annuity has started.

Read more about annuities

Flexible drawdown

Opt for flexible drawdown and your pension pot will last until you’ve taken all your money out. The level of income you take and any investment growth will be key factors as to how long your pension pot will last.

Read more about flexible access

Take some or all of it in cash

Take all or some of your pension pot in cash sum and it’s up to you how long it lasts. Once you get your money after tax, you’re completely responsible for it and can use it as you want.

Read more about taking it all in cash

Leave it all for now – defer your pension

If you don’t do anything with your pension, it will stay invested and could continue to grow. The longer you leave it the more you may have in your pension pot so the longer it should last. Just make sure you won’t lose any guarantees which only apply at your retirement date if you decide to leave your pension pot.

Read more about leaving it where it is

Taking your money

Aged 55 or over? If you’ve understood the retirement basics, then explore your pension options.

Your pension options

Explore Retirement

Once you’ve got the basics, it’s time to take a look at some of the other stages of the retirement journey.

Retirement explained

Got a question?

If you need to ask us a question about pensions or retirement, then get in touch. There are lots of ways to contact us.

Contact us