Leave it for now

You don’t have to take your pension as soon as you reach age 55. If it’s right for you, it’s fine to leave your money where it is.

Things you need to understand about leaving it for now

You can keep your savings invested and make a decision when you’re ready. It’s important to regularly review where your pension is invested to make sure it’s still right for you, particularly if your pension is invested in a ‘lifestyling strategy’ option. As you approach retirement, this may move you into lower risk investments which are not designed for long term investment.


  • Your pension stays invested so has the potential to grow, however investments can go down in value as well as up.
  • You can continue to pay into your pension until you’re 75.


  • With some pension plans, you have to use the value of your savings to take benefits before your 75th birthday.
  • Some pensions have guarantees built into them, that may only apply when taking benefits at certain times. These could make a difference to how much you could get if you retire earlier or later than the date your provider expects you to. It’s a good idea to check if your pension has any guarantees before you decide what to do.

You need to make a decision about your pension before you reach 75

It's a good idea to work out what you want to do with your pension before you reach age 75. Some pensions have rules that mean you have to do something with your pension before then.

We’ll get in touch with you before you reach age 75 to let you know your options.

If you don’t tell us what you want to do before you turn 75, your pension will usually be used to buy an annuity. This gives you a guaranteed income for life. But you won't get to take tax-free cash or choose a different option that could suit you better. You also miss the opportunity to shop around for the best deal.

If you die before you reach age 75, your pension will normally be paid tax-free to your beneficiary. They can then choose to take it as an annuity, a lump sum or through beneficiary drawdown.

If you die after you reach age 75, your beneficiary has the same options, but these will be subject to tax.

Choosing how to take your money is a big decision. Pension Wise from MoneyHelper is a free and impartial service that helps you understand your options for using your pension. It’s a government organisation that offers clear guidance online or over the phone. To find out more or book an appointment visit moneyhelper.org.uk/pensionwise or call 0800 138 3944.

If you’re unsure or need more help to make sure you know which option is right for you, we recommend that you speak to your financial adviser. If you don’t have one, you can visit unbiased.co.uk to find one. Advisers will normally charge for their advice.

Ready to leave it for now?

If you’re happy that you’ve considered all your options and you’d like to leave it for now, you don’t need to do anything. Get in touch if you want to change your retirement age, make any changes to the amounts you’re paying in, or make changes to your investment options.

Get in touch

Have a closer look at your options

Flexible access to your pension savings

You can leave your pension savings invested, and take parts of your pension or withdraw a flexible income when you need it.

Flexible access

Take a guaranteed income for life (annuity)

Use your money to provide a regular guaranteed income for life.


Take it all in cash

You can take all of your pension savings as cash.

Take it in cash

You don't have to use just one option. You can combine these options in many different ways to meet your needs. Have a look at our table (PDF, 50KB) to help you compare the options.

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