There are two ways of taking your pension pot as a flexible lump sum. With both, you’ll get 25% of your pension pot tax free, and you’ll pay tax on the remaining 75% of it. Option 1 lets you take your tax-free cash up front and option 2, lets you take your tax-free cash gradually.
Note that you get a personal allowance (the standard is £12,500 in 2019/2020 tax year) of tax-free income each year. Taking large cash sums could move you into a higher tax band and give you a large tax bill – especially if you have other income on top.
The flexible lump sum you receive from us is likely to be quite a lot lower than the amount you take out of your pension savings. This is because:
- only 25% of each flexible lump sum is tax free – you pay tax on the rest
- if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) hasn’t supplied us with your tax code for the current tax year, your flexible lump sum will be taxed using a temporary (emergency) rate. In most cases this will mean that too much tax will be deducted and you’ll have to reclaim the overpayment from HMRC.
– Say you take £30,000 as a flexible lump sum but you’re on an emergency rate of tax
– £22,500 is taxable, meaning you pay £8,405.65 in tax.
– So you’d get £21,594.35.
The example uses UK rates and allowances for the 2019/20 tax year.