If you are thinking of taking advantage of the pension freedoms this section contains everything you need to know. Taking cash from your pension scheme is not without consequences so we recommend that you look through these pages before you act. If you are at all worried seek advice.
As a starter, why not take a look at a three minute video to get an overview of your options? You can then browse the articles about the practical implications of the freedoms.
At a glance, you have the three options described below, plus staying where you are. However, you can mix and match these options to make a solution that best suits your needs.
Income drawdown is a phrase used to describe the process where people keep their pensions savings invested and then take money from that investment rather than buying a guaranteed income. Income drawdown is available in a variety of places, which might include your workplace pension.
Because taking an income for life from your investment is important, you should research and take advice on the best route for you. The functionality of an income drawdown product and charges for setting up and running the plan vary with different pension providers. Aside from your workplace pension, Income drawdown is offered by the usual pension companies, such as Aviva, Scottish Widows and Standard life, as well as the more recently formed Self Invested Personal Pension or SIPP providers.
This is a form of guaranteed income where you pay an insurance company a lump sum and they then promise to pay you an income from that lump sum for the rest of your life. Your current pension scheme provider might have told you about this option and told you what you could expect, however it is always best to check the market as you would with your car insurance. Our annuity section has all the tools for you to calculate what guaranteed income you could buy and learn how to improve that income and also how to use the guaranteed income together with investment income to best suit your needs.
You also have the option of taking your cash directly from your current pension scheme. You have the option of taking it all, or in some cases the scheme will be able to let you have it in instalments – a bit like drawdown. However, you should think about the tax implications which could mean up to half your money going to HMRC. Have a look at the issues and solutions in taking cash.