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UFPLS

UFPLS: lump sums from your pension

Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum

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Important: The information on our website is not personal advice but we can offer advice if specifically requested. What you do with your pension is an important decision, which could be irreversible. Taking a lump sum is a higher risk option than an annuity. Make sure you understand your options and check they are suitable for your circumstances: take appropriate advice or guidance if you are unsure. The Government's free Pension Wise service can help. It provides impartial guidance face-to-face, online or by phone - more on Pension Wise.

What is a lump sum withdrawal?

The pension freedoms introduced in April 2015 mean investors can take lump sums directly from their fund, from age 55. This is also known as taking an Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS).

Each time you take an UFPLS from your pension, 25% will be tax free and the rest taxed as income. If you have reached 75 and have insufficient lifetime allowance the tax free percentage will be lower.

The example pie-chart illustrates how a £25,000 income payment can be withdrawn and taxed via an UFPLS. More detailed information about tax treatment can be found below.


Why take lump sums?

There is no requirement to take a pension all in one go. Deciding whether to withdraw your income over time rather than in one go is an important consideration, and can affect the amount of tax you pay.

Those who don't need their full tax-free cash yet, nor a regular income from their pension, may wish to take periodic lump sums out as they wish.

The remaining pension stays invested, which means the fund value and future income is not secure. Keeping the fund invested does create the potential for growth but taking lump sums out will reduce what is left to provide income in future, particularly if your investments perform badly or you take too much out. There are tax advantages in keeping funds within a pension, and the fund usually stays outside your estate for inheritance tax purposes.

Compare flexible income options: drawdown versus UFPLS

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0117 980 9940


Why use Hargreaves Lansdown for UFPLS?

Low charges

No charge for making withdrawals unless this closes the account.

View our charges

Award-winning service

Dedicated to helping investors make the most of their pension savings, we have been voted Best SIPP provider by readers of What Investment magazine for ten years running and won the Gold Standard Award for our Retirement Service in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Wide investment choice

Whether you're an experienced investor, just starting or want to leave it to an expert, find the right investments for you, with over 2,500 funds, shares, investment trusts and many others to choose from.

Where can I invest?

Flexibility

Choose to whom you would like the remaining pension paid on your death, tax free in some cases. Change your nomination at any point. You can also buy an annuity, or go into drawdown, at any time.


How are lump sum withdrawals taxed?

Your pension provider will deduct tax, where applicable, before a withdrawal is paid out. Remember in most cases 25% of the UFPLS will be tax free and the rest taxed as income.

Tax rules can change and benefits depend on your circumstances.

The taxable income will be added to any other income received in that tax year, so taking high withdrawals could push you into a higher tax bracket. See the table to the right for an example of the tax treatment of a £1,000 UFPLS payment.

When you first take a taxable lump sum or income from a pension, it is likely that emergency tax will be deducted. Emergency tax will apply to future withdrawals until HMRC send your correct tax code directly to your retirement provider. More tax may be deducted than you owe, in which case you would need to reclaim this from HMRC directly.

Emergency tax calculator

Pension income tax calculator

What happens to my pension when I die?

If you die before age 75 any funds remaining in your SIPP can be paid to your beneficiaries, tax free in most cases. For death on or after 75 any benefits paid out will be taxed as income at your beneficiary's marginal rate.

Find out more about death benefits

Tax treatment of a £1,000 UFPLS withdrawal
Basic-rate tax Tax deducted £150
Net payment £850
Higher-rate tax Tax deducted £300
Net payment £700
Additional-rate tax Tax deducted £337.50
Net payment £662.50

These figures are an estimate only, and assume the whole payment falls within one tax band. They do not take into account the effect on any means tested benefits (e.g. child benefit) or any other impacts such as personal allowance or the nil-rate savings band.

What happens to my pension when I die?

If you die before age 75 any funds remaining in your SIPP can be paid to your beneficiaries, tax free in most cases. For death on or after 75 any benefits paid out will be taxed as income at your beneficiary's marginal rate.


Anything else to consider?

  • Ensure you fully understand your options. UFPLS via the Vantage SIPP is offered without personal advice as standard. If you are at all uncertain about its suitability for your circumstances, we strongly suggest you contact us for advice. You should carefully consider your overall financial circumstances and other retirement goals or plans when making your decision. Remember, Pension Wise the government’s free impartial service is available to help you understand your options.

  • Consider the charges you might pay. Most investments carry charges, and the income you ultimately receive depends on the returns from investments, less any charges. Therefore it is important you consider the charges of your pension plan as well as those of any of the other options you are considering. See the charges of the Vantage SIPP.
  • Investment scams do exist. Once money is drawn from a pension, you should be careful where you re-invest it. These scams tend to be carried out by firms which are not regulated and warning signs include cold calling or texting, the promise of unique or unusual opportunities offering quick, easy profits or something which seems too good to be true. You can find out more at www.scamsmart.fca.org.uk

Request your UFPLS pack now

Drawdown versus Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS)
UFPLS Drawdown
Why might you consider this option?
  • You wish to receive your tax-free cash in stages, or to withdraw your entire pension in one go.
  • You want the option to draw a variable income of your choice.
  • You want the potential to increase any remaining pension through investment growth but are comfortable the pension is invested so future income is not secure and could fall, or even run out.
  • You want to receive your tax-free cash as a lump sum.
  • You want the option to draw a variable income of your choice.
  • You want the potential to increase any remaining pension through investment growth but are comfortable the pension is invested so future income is not secure and could fall, or even run out.
Do I have to use my whole pension? No – you can take lumps sums as and when you require income. No – you can move funds into drawdown in stages (known as partial or phased drawdown).
What decisions do I need to make at the start?
  • How much you wish to withdraw. Usually 25% of each withdrawal is tax free, the rest is taxable.
  • Where to invest your remaining pension.
  • How much of your pension you want to move into drawdown (usually up to 25% of this amount can be taken as a tax-free lump sum up front).
  • Where to invest your pension.
  • How much (if any) taxable income you wish to take.
How will income be taxed? Usually 75% of each lump sum will be subject to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax. When you decide to take income from your drawdown funds, each payment will be subject to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax.
Will future contributions be restricted? Flexibly accessing benefits via an UFPLS or drawdown can affect your future pension contributions by triggering the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA). Once triggered, contributions into SIPPs and other money purchase pensions will be restricted (to £4,000 per tax year). This will be triggered:
  • As soon as your first UFPLS is taken.
  • Once your first income payment is taken. Just taking the tax-free cash will not trigger the MPAA.
What happens to the pension when I die? If you die before age 75 any remaining funds can be paid to your nominated beneficiaries, tax free in most circumstances. If you die at or after age 75 income paid to your beneficiaries will be taxed at their rate of income tax.

The information on our website is not personal advice but we can offer advice if specifically requested. What you do with your pension is an important decision, which could be irreversible. Taking an income via drawdown or as a lump sum is a higher risk option than an annuity. Make sure you understand your options and check they are suitable for your circumstances: take appropriate advice or guidance if you are unsure. The Government's free Pension Wise service can help. It provides impartial guidance face-to-face, online or by phone - more on Pension Wise.