Flexible income – Our easy investment option

Looking for a simple and tax-efficient way of accessing your pension money? Have total pension savings of £25,000 or more and happy for it to remain invested? If you're new to investing or just don't have the time Standard Life Active Retirement could be right for you.

  • Set up a regular income or dip in and take cash withdrawals whenever you want
  • Let our experts make the day-to-day investment decisions
  • Keep your pension savings invested, giving your money the opportunity to grow

What is Standard Life Active Retirement?

It's been specially designed for people who want to take a flexible income (drawdown) from their pension savings but aren't confident making investment decisions or don't have the time. It lets you take your money as and when you like - as either a regular income or lump sum withdrawals.

If you choose Standard Life Active Retirement, our experts will:

  • Choose the funds that Standard Life Active Retirement invests in
  • Spread your investment risk at the start of your retirement, by investing across three pots (or funds), each with a varying level of risk

You'll be able to:

  • Take an income - and change this anytime you want
  • Dip in to your pension savings and take a cash withdrawal anytime you like
  • Top up your pension savings, subject to tax
  • Keep your pension savings invested, giving them the potential to keep on growing
  • Change your mind and buy a fixed income (annuity) for life, at anytime
  • Move to other investment options at any time
  • Take income tax-free - the first 25% is normally tax-free
  • Pass what's left to your loved ones, free of inheritance tax, when you die
    • If you die before age 75, this will be completely tax-free.
    • If you die age 75 or older, they'll be able to access it flexibly, at any age.

You can access your pension savings anytime from the age of 55.

Remember that if you choose a flexible income, your income isn’t guaranteed. So it may not be suitable for everyone.

As your pension savings stay invested, you'll have to be comfortable taking the risk that your money won't last as long as you need it to. This could happen if your investments fall in value or don’t perform well enough to sustain the income you want.

Shop around

Remember that you don't have to take flexible income (drawdown) from your current pension provider. You can shop around. You could transfer your pension to another provider and you might get a better retirement income.

Is it right for me?

  • You're 55 or over and looking for flexible access to your pension savings
  • You're planning to access your pension savings over more than five years
  • You're comfortable leaving your pension invested in a medium risk investment which may fluctuate in value frequently and at times significantly
  • You want to pass on your remaining pension savings when you die
  • You're happy to keep track of your pension savings and make sure your money lasts as long as you need it to

This could be a good option if you want to balance the money you need to take now with keeping your money invested for the future, in the short term giving the rest of it the opportunity to grow. But if you're not planning to take any money, other than your tax-free lump sum, in the near future, this option may not be right for you.

Remember that all funds can go up and down in value and investment growth is not guaranteed so you should keep track of your investments.


What are people saying?


Can I choose Standard Life Active Retirement?

Yes, but you'll need to have one of our personal pensions. Don't worry if you don't already have one - you can transfer any pension you have to us quickly and easily. Transferring will not be right for everyone. There are a number of points to consider, as you could be losing money by giving up any valuable benefits or guarantees that your current plan offers.

Don’t have a pension with us?

Apply for a Personal Pension

Or call us on 0800 032 8610

Already have a pension with us?


Or call us on 0800 032 8610

What are the risks?

  • Investment risk

    As your pension savings will remain invested, there’s a risk that your investments could go down in value.You need to be comfortable being invested in a medium risk investment which may fluctuate in value frequently and at times significantly
  • Sustainability of income

    You need to consider the longer-term impact of making withdrawals from your pension savings because your money could run out before you want it to
  • There are other risks - see our guide for more information

Interested in flexible income? Call us on 0800 032 8610

Call charges will vary.

What if Standard Life Active Retirement isn’t for me?

Standard Life Active Retirement is designed for people leaving their money invested and taking it out flexibly over more than five years. If you plan to take all your money within five years, or set up a fixed income (annuity) within five years, we have different options.

  • If you plan to take all your money within five years, our easy option is the Short Term Income Fund. Find out more in the fund factsheet.
  • If you're planning to set up a fixed income (annuity) within five years, our easy option is the Annuity Purchase Fund. This fund is designed to move in line with the cost of setting up a fixed income to give you more confidence about the amount of income you'll get. It uses medium risk investments, so can go up and down in value, sometimes quite significantly. Find out more in the fund factsheet.

Compare the options - which option is right for you?

 The easy investment optionThe DIY investment option
Choosing where to invest This option could be for you if you want to save time choosing and managing your investments.

Apply now
Choose from over 300 funds (as at August 2016).

Find out more

Were you able to find the information you were looking for on our site?Yes No

Please note: The survey won’t be used to respond to individual customer queries. Please refer to our Contact us page if you have a question.

Send I've got nothing else to say

Thank you for your comments.