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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Planning your retirement income is a big decision. Pension freedoms was introduced in April 2015, which means you now have more choice than ever. Our FAQs provides answers to some of the most popular questions people have asked us when in or approaching retirement.

Can I choose how often I receive my income?

Yes, you can choose from monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. Alternatively, some options allow for ad hoc withdrawals. Most people choose monthly as they are used to receiving a regular income and it can help with day-to-day living expenses.

Can I switch the provider of an annuity later?

Once you have purchased a lifetime annuity it cannot be changed or moved to another provider. If you wish to keep your options open in the future a fixed term annuity could be an option. 

Can I cash in my pension savings?

Yes you can. Providing you have reached the age of 55, you have the choice to take the entire value of your pension pot as a cash sum, with the first 25% tax-free.

You don’t have to take your complete pension in cash in one go; you can take it in stages, for example, some every year.

What are my options if I want an income?

There are two types of annuity in which you can get an income from your pension savings You don’t have to take all your income as one type of plan or in one go, you can have a combination of the options.

Investment linked annuities are investments. As with any investment, the value of your fund can go up or down and may be worth less than what you paid in.

How can I find out if I qualify for an enhanced annuity?

While speaking to your retirement options specialist you will be asked a number of questions about your health and lifestyle; your answers will allow us to establish whether you could qualify for an even higher retirement income.

Isn't it easier to stay with my current provider?

You may not always get the best product if you stay with your current provider. Terms, options and rates vary between providers. Shopping around for a better quote could increase your retirement income.
 
Paperwork and the complex nature of comparing quotes from other providers may seem daunting, but we can do all this for you.

What tax will I have to pay?

Any cash lump sums or income you take will be added to your earnings and will be taxed at your marginal rate after your initial 25% tax-free entitlement.

Try our free tax calculator to find out how much tax you could pay. 

What are my options if I don't need an income straight away?

You can choose to take a 25% tax-free cash lump sum from your pension pot and then take a fixed term income plan set with no income. This gives you a guaranteed maturity amount at the end of the plan's term. 

You can delay taking your pension income if you're continuing to work or you have another source of income to live off. In the meantime your pension pot can continue to grow until you're ready for it. 

There are however tax implications and the potential of additional charges to consider.

If you die after the age of 75, your nominated beneficiary can take the money as a lump sum payment or income. The money will be added to their existing income and it will be taxed at their marginal rate. 

Before you delay taking a pension income it's worth checking with your pension provider or scheme that no resulting charges or restrictions apply. 

What happens to my retirement income when I die?

There are a range of options available to either provide ongoing income for a spouse/partner or dependant, and there are also options for leaving a lump sum. To find out more, please speak to a retirement options specialist.

Will I speak to the same person every time I call?

We aim to provide customers with a single dedicated contact at every stage of the process.

Key promise

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do; we pride ourselves on being independent, transparent, supportive and straightforward. We're passionate about helping you to make the most of your finances when you’re in or approaching retirement.

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