You can normally take your benefits at any time after age 55 which is the current minimum retirement age. This will increase to 57 from 2028. You may be able to take benefits before then if you are in a special occupation or are in ill health:


Early Retirement due to ill health

You can take benefits before the normal minimum pension age if you suffer from permanent physical or mental impairment. The benefit options available are the same as those available to people over 55.


Early Retirement due to Serious ill health

If your life expectancy is less than 12 months, you may have the additional option of taking the whole of your pension pot as a tax free lump sum. You can find more information on the HMRC website.

However, just because the law allows this doesn't mean that all pension schemes will pay benefits early to those in ill-health. For example, the scheme rules may not allow retirement on ill-health grounds before the normal minimum pension age or they may have stricter rules for determining ill-health criteria. Some schemes may not have a drawdown option and may only allow lump sum and pension.

You can find out more about early retirement and whether you qualify on the website or you can contact us. Call charges will vary.

If you are considering taking out an annuity, generally, the longer you delay taking it the higher the income you are likely to receive. If you delay your decision to take pension benefits it's worth remembering that your pension plan will continue to be invested. As with any investment, the value of your fund can go down as well as up and may be worth less than what you paid in.

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