Most people wait until they stop work to take pension benefits but you can access your pension fund at any time from age 55 (rising to 57 in 2028). You don't have to take the money when you stop working. You can leave it invested if you have other income.
There are four main options (or combination of options) to consider when taking benefits from your pension for the first time:
- Flexi access drawdown
- A conventional annuity
- Annuity drawdown
- Taking one or more lump sums from uncrystallised funds known as Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sums (UFPLS)
Finding the right solution for you will depend on an understanding of your personal circumstances and objectives and how the variety of available retirement income solutions can be used to meet your needs.
When selecting your retirement income solution, it’s important to shop around for the best deal. You are not obliged to stay with your existing pension provider and many retirees find better deals, and more money in their pocket, by searching elsewhere.
We strongly encourage you to try our ‘Annuity or Not’ tool on our website. This will give you an indication of the best retirement income solution for your circumstances and help you better understand the factors at play.
For more information about retirement income options, please read our basic guide to your retirement options.