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Drawdown flexible access to your pension

Take a variable income from your pension, whilst keeping it invested

Take a variable income from your pension, whilst keeping it invested.

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Important information: What you do with your pension is an important decision that you may not be able to change. You should check you're making the right decision for your circumstances and that you understand your options and the risks. Drawdown is a higher risk option than an annuity. The government's free and impartial Pension Wise service can help you and we can offer you advice. The information on our website is not personal advice.

Low-cost, flexible and accessible

If you're aged 55 or over and don't need secure income, drawdown can provide a flexible alternative with the potential to increase your fund value and income through investment growth. It allows you to take up to 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum up front and then a variable income from the rest, which stays invested. You choose where to invest and what income to take.

Drawdown offers more flexibility than a lifetime annuity, which provides a guaranteed income for life, but drawdown also carries considerable risks. You could run out of money if you take too much out, you live longer than expected or your investments perform poorly. If you invest without advice, the responsibility for these decisions rests with you.

Find out more about drawdown and how it works

To find out how much income you could take in drawdown, request your free personal drawdown illustration which will show you how withdrawals could affect your future income and how investment performance can change your fund value over time, all with no obligation to proceed.

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Request your free guide to Drawdown

Other terms for Drawdown
  • Flexible drawdown
  • Flexi access drawdown
  • Income drawdown
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Benefits and risks of drawdown

  • Take up to 25% as a tax-free lump sum
    Even if you don't need the lump sum, you might consider using the tax-free cash to supplement income in a tax efficient manner, or keep some of the tax-free cash aside as a cash buffer. This would allow you to weather market storms and save having to sell investments at a bad time should you need income: having enough cash to cover your needs means you can wait for the market to - hopefully - recover.

  • Invest how you want

    You have the flexibility to choose your own investments or use our ready-made portfolios available through our Portfolio+ service (this is not specifically designed for drawdown but at your disposal if you decide any of the portfolios meet your investment goals). If you are unsure where to invest you could let an adviser choose the investments for you.

    The value of investments can rise and fall. Poor investment choices or performance will deplete the fund leaving you short of income.

  • Choose your preferred level of income withdrawals

    Choose how much income to take - if any - and start, stop or vary the amount you take out any time. Giving you the flexibility to vary your income to meet your needs, or keep within certain tax bands or allowances. You could even take your whole pension in one go if you wish.

    Please remember, a pension is designed to provide an income throughout retirement. Income is not secure and excessive withdrawals will deplete the fund, leaving you short of income later in retirement.

  • Death benefits
    The remaining fund can be passed on to your nominated beneficiaries in the event of your death, tax free in some cases. Find out more.

What is the application process?

  • It's free to request and there's no obligation to apply. The illustration will show you how much income you might receive each year, the potential remaining fund value in future years and charges on your fund over time.

    Request your free drawdown illustration

  • You will also receive a set of risk questions which you will need to read through to ensure you are aware of the risks of drawdown. Confirm you're happy to proceed by calling us on 0117 980 9940 or returning your risk questions by post. We will then send you an application form.

  • If you are happy to proceed, complete your application form and, if applying for drawdown with us for the first time, enclose proof of age documentation (such as a copy of your valid passport, photocard driving licence or birth certificate) to verify your age. Drawdown is normally only available to those aged 55 or above.

Why choose drawdown with us?

Low charges

There is no drawdown set up fee, no transfer in fee and no charges for one-off or regular withdrawals, or for changing your income instructions. In fact, the only addition to our normal pension charges is an early closure fee for people who open and then close their account within a year.

View our low charges, including annual management and dealing charges

Number 1

One of the UK's most trusted drawdown providers

More investors choose Hargreaves Lansdown to manage their drawdown plan themselves (without advice) than any other provider, making us one of the UK's most trusted drawdown providers.*

Number 2

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, 2016 and 2017.

Number 3

Support if and when you need it

Our drawdown specialists are on hand to answer any questions. No automated service, just friendly, professional support. We also offer a national team of advisers if you ever need advice.

Number 4

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*Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest non-advised drawdown provider by number of clients (source: Money Management survey September 2016, 38 providers surveyed).


Drawdown is an option that requires you to make an active investment choice and review investments regularly. Portfolio+ is not specifically designed for drawdown. Nonetheless our Portfolio+ range is available for drawdown investors who believe it meets their individual requirements.

Continue to Portfolio+