There’s a change coming which could impact when you can take your pension money. We’ll talk you through the change and what it might mean for you, so you can prepare for your retirement with confidence.
Currently, you can only start taking your pension savings once you reach age 55. This is known as the normal minimum pension age (NMPA). There are some exceptions to this – like if you’re suffering from ill health or have a lower protected pension age, for example. But generally, the rule is the same for most people.
From 6 April 2028, the NMPA is rising to 57. So, depending on when you were born, this could impact you in different ways.
What does this mean for me?
|If you were born after 5 April 1973||The earliest date you can access your pension savings will be delayed by two years|
|If you were born after 6 April 1971 but before 6 April 1973||You’ll have a window from your 55th birthday to 5 April 2028 to access your pension savings before the NMPA increases to 57. If you choose not to take any pension savings during this period, you’ll need to wait until your 57th birthday|
|If you were born on or before 6 April 1971||You won’t be impacted because you’ll already have reached age 57 by 6 April 2028|
What do I need to do?
If you were born after 5 April 1973
It’s worth reviewing any plans you might have already made to see if they are impacted by the change. For example, it could mean that you now plan for an extra couple of years of saving, meaning the amount of retirement income you have to work with when the time comes might be different. Or, if you hadn’t planned to take any pension savings before you reached age 57 anyway, you don’t need to do anything.
Even though the change is still just under five years away, reviewing your retirement plans on a regular basis is a great habit to get into. Particularly as you get closer to the age at which you’d like to start taking your pension savings.
If you want to find out if your pension savings are on track to meet your plans, why not try our pension calculator?
If you were born after 6 April 1971 but before 6 April 1973
You have two options – so think carefully about what you want to do and what would best suit your circumstances.
Option 1: Access your pension savings before the window closes
If you don’t want to have to wait until you’re 57 to start taking your pension savings (whether you plan to take them all at once, or just some of them), you’ll need to start to access your money after you turn 55, but before 6 April 2028.
It’s important to understand that accessing your pension savings doesn’t mean you need to take a lot, or even a regular amount. You can decide how much you want to take based on what’s right for you. If you do decide to access your savings during the window, it could be a good idea to speak to a financial adviser first. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one in your local area at Unbiased.
On the other hand, the longer you leave your pension savings invested, the more time you give them to potentially grow. Also keep in mind that, for most people, taking taxable money from your plan (that’s anything over your tax-free entitlement) could mean the amount you can pay into your plan will reduce. It’s known as the money purchase annual allowance. You can find out more about this on our website.
Option 2: Wait until you turn 57
You can also choose to wait. If you weren’t planning to access your pension savings before age 57 anyway, then you don’t need to do anything. You’ll be able to access your pension savings at any age from 57 onwards, whenever suits you. Just keep in mind that if you don’t take anything before 6 April 2028, you’ll lose the opportunity to take anything from your pension before age 57.
If you were born on or before 6 April 1971
Sit back and relax – you don’t need to do anything. You’ll already be 57 by the time the change comes into play, so you and your retirement plans aren’t affected.
Haven’t retired yet? Check your retirement date
The retirement date on your plan might still be set to your 55th birthday even if you won’t be able to take your money at 55 anymore, so it’s worth reviewing it now.
You don’t need to stick to your retirement date – you can change it at any time. But the date you choose can have an impact on your plan. For example, if you’re invested in a lifestyle profile, your pension investments are designed to move to lower-risk investments as you get closer to your retirement date. This helps to reduce the impact of market ups and downs on the value of your pot.
Say your retirement date is set to your 55th birthday but you don’t actually plan to take your money until age 65 – your investments won’t match your plans. Which could potentially impact the amount your pension savings could be worth when you come to take them.
If you have a Standard Life plan with an invalid retirement date on it, we’ll update this to your 57th birthday for you. But it’s a good time to review (and change, if necessary) the retirement date on your plan to make sure the date chosen is close to when you expect to retire. You can do this easily online or by contacting us.
The information here is based on our understanding in June 2023 and shouldn’t be taken as financial advice.
A pension is an investment and its value can go down as well as up and may be worth less than was paid in.