Compare your retirement options

Retirement planning = big decisions. You’ll want to find out as much as you can about your options, before you decide how to take your pension savings.

Your options at retirement

Once you reach your normal minimum pension age, you can start taking money out of your pension if you want to. This could be earlier if you need to retire due to ill health.

You don’t have to choose 1 option or take your money all at once – you can use parts of your pension pot(s) for different options.

Many providers offer different options, so it’s worth doing your research before you make any decisions. Plus it’s a good idea to get some guidance and advice to help you decide – we recommend you start by going to Pension Wise for free impartial guidance.

Choose your option

Use our interactive decision tool to help you decide.

What are your options for taking your pension money?

You have more options if you have more than £10,000 in your pot. So, if you have £10,000 or less saved, you might want to think about combining your old pensions into one pot with us.

When you take your pension, normally 25% of it is tax free. The rest (usually 75%) is taxable as with other earned income, like a salary. You can take your tax-free cash in a slightly different way for some of the retirement options below. We explain more about this on each of the retirement option pages.

Keep your money where it is

If you don’t need to access your pension pot, you can leave it where it is. This means you can continue to save and your pension pot may grow. But, as with all investments, there’s a risk that the value can go down as well as up

Read more about keeping your pension pot where it is.

Take your money all in one go

There are different ways to do this depending on the amount.

Option A: take a pot of £10,000 or less all in one go (also called a ‘small pot lump sum).
Option B: take a pot of more than £10,000 all in one go (also called a ‘whole pot uncrystallised funds pension lump sum UFPLS’).

Read more about taking your money in one go.

Take your money a bit at a time

If you’ve got more than £10,000 in your pension pot, or £2,000 if you’ve taken money before.
Option A: take your tax-free cash up front a bit at a time or all in one go (also called ‘flexi-access drawdown (FAD)’ or ‘designation to FAD’).
Option B: spread your tax-free cash across all withdrawals (also called a ‘partial UFPLS’).

Read more about taking your money a bit at a time.

Buy a guaranteed income

We don’t offer a guaranteed income product (also called ‘annuity’) but you could transfer your pension to an annuity provider. The amount you’re offered will depend on the type of income you choose.

Read more about buying a guaranteed income.

Retirement scenarios

Deciding how to take your pension savings is a personal decision – we can’t tell you what’s right for you. But you can get an idea of how different people take their savings in different ways by reading our case studies.

Guidance and advice

Making decisions about your pension can be complicated. So you may need some help.

Find out more about your guidance and advice options and discover helpful resources on our guidance and advice for members page.

Plan for your retirement

To get the most from your pension when you retire it pays to think ahead.

Ready to take your pension money?

When you’ve compared your options and decided how you want to take your pension savings, you can request this quickly in your Online Account.