A pension is a long-term investment. Its value can go down as well as up and could be worth less than was paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. Your own circumstances and where you live in the UK will also have an impact on tax treatment.

Why people choose not to take money from their pension plan

You can take money from your pension plan when you reach 55 (57 from 2028) but you don’t have to.

Leaving it invested: What you need to know

Here's a quick breakdown of things to know when choosing not to take money from your pension plan:

  • Stay invested: If you don't take money from your plan then it stays invested. This gives it the potential to grow, building up your retirement pot. Remember that as you are still invested, your plan value can go down as well as up. You may get back less than what was left invested.
  • Keep paying in: If you don’t need the money right away, you may able to keep paying into your plan. Your pension plan is still one of the most tax efficient ways to save for retirement. Paying in means you could still be receiving tax benefits.

Not sure if leaving your pension plan invested is the right option for you?

Don't worry you have other choices. Our guide to retirement options explains how each of them works, breaks down their features, and has details on how to get started with your chosen option

Here's a quick comparison of how the features of each retirement option compare.


Will you get a guaranteed income for life? Does your remaining money stay invested? Can you access your money at any time? Can you pass on what's left after you die?
Take a flexible income No Yes Yes Yes
Take one or more lump sums No Yes Yes Yes
Buy a guaranteed income for life (annuity) Yes No No No*
Leave your pension invested for now No Yes Yes Yes

Usually you can't pass on your guaranteed income for life (Annuity), but you could add on options. For example, you could choose to pay a spouse's pension after you die, to keep paying the income for a guaranteed period or to include value protection, which provides a lump sum death benefit. Please visit our  Guaranteed Income for Life page  for more information

pension wise logo

Access to impartial guidance

We recommend you seek appropriate guidance or advice before you make any decisions. An adviser is likely to charge a fee for this. You can also get free impartial guidance over the phone or face to face from the age of 50 with Pension Wise, a service from MoneyHelper. Go to moneyhelper.org.uk/pensionwise  or call 0800 138 3944

If you want to use a financial adviser, you should always make sure they're authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The government's MoneyHelper service has a useful guide to help you find a financial adviser.

Thinking about delaying taking your pension savings?

Here are some simple next steps that could help you.