Withdrawing your money during the Coronavirus outbreak

We understand why some of our customers are looking for ways to access their money during these exceptional times. We want to help you find the right balance between what you need today, and what you need for tomorrow.

Before you make the decision to access your life savings, have you considered looking to a number of other sources for financial support?

The Money Advice Service has compiled a comprehensive guide to the financial support available right now such as:

  • Benefits from the government to help with unemployment or sickness 
  • Holidays from regular payments to your bank or lending provider
  • Relief if you are self-employed or own a small business

For further guidance and support about how the impact of coronavirus might affect your pension take a look at our FAQ or visit the Pension Advisory Service .

Taking money from your pension is a big step and one we want to help you get right.

To help you prepare for your next call with us, please make sure you complete your next steps and answer the important questions we'll need to ask you below.

Remember, when you next speak with us we'll ask you to confirm that you've read, understand and able to answer these questions. So please make sure you’ve read through this carefully.

Your next steps

Step 1 - Have you looked at all your options?

We’ll ask you to confirm which option you’ve chosen on your next call with us, take a look and decide which one may be right for you:

Our retirement calculator can also help you understand your options.

Keep in mind, some pensions may not have the full range of these options available but don't worry, we'll let you know if this applies to you.

If you're unsure what's right for you, consider getting financial advice. Although there will be a cost for advice, it could save you money in the long run. If you don’t have an adviser, we can help you find one at standardlife.co.uk/financial-advice or to find a financial adviser in your area visit unbiased.co.uk .

Step 2 - Making an investment choice

Choosing a flexible income or lump sum? So you have the flexibility to access your pension money as and when you need it, we’ll need to move your current plan into our Active Money Personal Pension (AMPP) if you’re not already in one. This is a straightforward process and we manage it for you, find out more on moving into an AMPP (108KB).

Your remaining pension money is invested. It's up to you to choose where to invest this but don't worry you don't need to be an investment expert.

Watch our video or read our guide (123KB) to help you understand your investment options.

Step 3 - Important questions we need to ask

  1. We will ask you to confirm if you've shopped around and understand you don’t need to access your pension pot with us.

    When planning to access your pension pot, it’s really important that you shop around to see who is offering the best deal for you and your needs in retirement. Check out comparison websites, contact companies directly and use Pension Wise before making your decision.

  2. We will ask you to confirm you understand how the money you take from your pension pot could be taxed.


    Whichever way you plan to take your pension money, there may be income tax to pay. You could pay more income tax than you need to if you don’t take your pension money tax-efficiently. Our tax guides and HMRC can help you with this. Or consider getting financial advice – there’s likely to be a cost for this.

  3. We will ask if you understand taking more than your tax-free cash usually reduces the payments you or an employer can make to any of your pensions from £40,000 a year to £4,000*.


    You’ll also lose any unused allowance carried forward from previous tax years. If you plan to continue to pay more into your pension, you should think about what this means for you. Find out more by reading our guide.

  4. We will ask you to confirm you understand that you may pay additional charges or fees by taking your pension pot to repay debt or re-invest somewhere else.


    Think carefully if you're taking money from your pension pot to pay off debt or reinvest elsewhere. For example, if you're paying off your mortgage, check if there is an early repayment fee. Reinvesting somewhere else could also impact your future finances as you may have higher charges or it might be less tax efficient than your pension pot.

  5. We will check you are aware that investment scams exist, and that you need to be careful when investing your money.


    Beware of investment scammers offering deals that seem too good to be true. Check with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to see if they’re authorised to provide investments. The Money Advice Service can also help.

  6. We will ask you to confirm you have thought about how long you need your pension pot to last.


    What you take now could impact what you’ll have left in the future. You should also consider whether you need to rely on a lump sum or an income from your pension for the rest of your life. Our pension calculator could help you work out how much you might need.

  7. We will ask you to confirm you have thought about the effect of inflation.


    Inflation can have a significant impact on the cost of goods and services over time, so you may need to consider how any income you receive will keep up with inflation. Again, our pension calculator can help with this.

  8. We will ask you to confirm you have thought about what will happen to your pension money when you die.


    Think about if you want to leave your pension money behind for loved ones and make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. Passing your pension pot on to loved ones is normally free of income tax if you die before age 75. After age 75 your beneficiaries would pay income tax, our guide can help you understand passing on your wealth tax efficiently.

  9. We will ask if you understand the impact of taking money from your pension on means-tested state benefits.


    Taking money from your pension pot could affect any means-tested state benefits you receive, now or in the future, and they may be reduced or stopped as a result. Speak to the Department for Work and Pensions to find out more.

  10. We will ask if you understand that once you access your pension pot, creditors could step in and take this money if you're declared bankrupt.


    Think carefully before taking money from your pension as it could impact your future finances if you're declared bankrupt or become subject to a debt order. For more information please speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau or Pension Wise .

*This doesn’t apply if you have any final salary (also known as defined benefit) pensions.

What's next?

If you've completed the steps above and answered all the questions then you should be ready to give us a call back. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you take the next step.

Download checklist (249KB)