How Do You Access Your Pension After Retiring?

25 May 2023|Related :

If the time has come for you to retire, you may be wondering how and when you can access your pension. 

In this guide, we’ll be explaining all you need to know about accessing your pension once you retire.

How to Access State Pension

In order to access the full UK Basic State Pension, you will need a total of 30 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits. 

You must also be of the state pension age. This is currently set at 26, however, it is set to gradually increase to 67 for those born on or after April 1960 and 68 between 2044 and 2046.

Under the new State Pension rules, you won’t automatically receive your pension. You will need to claim this yourself, and will receive details on how to do so at least two months before you reach State Pension Age.

This will allow you to claim your State Pension online, by phone or post.

How to Access Money from Private Pensions

If you have a personal pension, you should first consider whether you have contributed enough to last you for the remainder of your life at the age you plan to retire.

Your planned age of retirement can impact your pension pot’s value significantly, so you may wish to reconsider when you decide to access it.

Generally, most workplace pensions can be accessed at the age of 55, however this is set to rise to 57 in 2028.

There are a few options available to you when it comes to accessing your pension, depending on your circumstances and financial goals.

Taking a Cash Lump Sum

You have the option to take up to 25% of your pension pot as a tax-free lump sum. This means you can withdraw a quarter of your pension savings without incurring any tax. The remaining 75% can be used to provide a regular income or left invested for potential growth.


An annuity is a financial product that provides you with a regular income for the rest of your life or a fixed term. You can use part or all of your pension pot to purchase an annuity from an insurance company. The income you receive will depend on factors such as your age, health, and prevailing interest rates.

Flexi-Access Drawdown

With flexi-access drawdown, you can leave your pension invested and withdraw money as and when you need it. You have the flexibility to take regular or irregular payments from your pension pot. However, any amount withdrawn beyond the tax-free lump sum will be subject to income tax.

Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS)

This option allows you to take lump sum withdrawals directly from your pension pot, with 25% tax-free and the remaining 75% subject to income tax. Each withdrawal you make is called a UFPLS and is treated as a combination of tax-free and taxable money.

It’s essential to consider the tax implications and the long-term sustainability of your pension funds when deciding how to access your private pension. Seeking advice from a qualified financial advisor is recommended to help you understand the best strategy based on your individual circumstances.

Accessing Your Pension with Ryans

Retirement is a significant milestone, and accessing your pension wisely can help ensure financial security and peace of mind throughout your golden years. Seeking retirement planning advice from a chartered accountant to help you understand the best strategy based on your individual circumstances.

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