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Before you can access your pension

There are several important things to consider when planning your retirement and choosing how you access your pension. Here’s what you need to think about.

Know what you want from retirement

We always encourage people to have a clear goal for retirement. 

You should picture how you want retirement to look and feel – where you want to live, when you want to finish working, how much disposable income you want each month – and then see which pension option will help get you there. 

It’s likely you will have done this already, but it’s worth checking your goals have not changed before you plan how to take money from your SIPP. Remember, the earliest you can normally access money in a pension is age 55 (57 from 2028).

Plan how to reach your goal

When you’re sure you know what you want from retirement, the next thing is to plan how to reach your goal. 

We have a selection of retirement planning tools to help you, from calculating how much you should be saving to how long your money might last in retirement. 

The closer you get to taking money from the SIPP, the more you should understand the finer details.  

Our retirement tools: 

Consider the rest of your pension before taking your tax-free cash

Most pension options give you the chance to take up to 25% as a tax-free lump sum. 

Although it’s tempting to focus on taking the tax-free element of your SIPP, it’s important you think about what happens to the rest of your pension before you do so. 

This includes whether you want to keep it invested by moving it into a drawdown account or swapping it for a guaranteed annuity income. 

Learn more about how to take tax-free cash from your SIPP. 

We're here to help

If you’re unsure about how to reach your retirement goals, we’re here to help.

Speak to our pensions team

Send us a message

We aim to reply to messages within 2 working days.

If you need extra help

These organisations offer free, impartial advice on retirement if you want more help:  

Pension Wise    

Prefer to speak with someone

Contact us