It depends on what sort of pension you have.

If you’ve already cashed in your pension savings to buy an ‘annuity’ – where you get a guaranteed payment every month – then you can’t change the income amount you receive. The same is true if you have a ‘final salary’ or a ‘defined benefit’ pension  – your income payments will usually be based on what your salary was when you retired and can’t be changed.

If, however, you’ve started taking money from your pension flexibly (sometimes known as drawdown), then you can change how much income you take – although think about the long-term impact before you do this. The more you take out now, the smaller the amount left, and so the slower this will grow if, as expected over the longer term, markets start to rise again. Remember, taking more now could mean your pension savings run out sooner than planned.

Also, as soon as you take anything over your 25% tax-free lump sum(s), the amount you (and your employer if you’re in a workplace pension) can pay into your Standard Life pension permanently reduces to a fixed amount of £4,000 a year.

Consider whether you’re able to use other savings (for example ISAs or bank savings) to supplement your income in the short term so you don’t have to take out as much from your pension.

To see the impact increasing withdrawals could have on your pension plan, log in to our online service and use our review tool, which you can find under ‘Review your plan’. This is available to most of our customers who have started to access their pension savings.

Before making any decisions about your pension savings or other investments, you can get free guidance from the government’s PensionWise service or you may want to consider speaking to a financial adviser. You can find one yourself at unbiased or you can also get financial advice from Standard Life . A financial adviser can work with you to build a tailored plan that’s tax efficient and resilient to ongoing market changes.

There’s likely to be a cost for getting advice.

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