While most of us will access our retirement savings on or after 55 years which is the current Normal Minimum Pension Age (NMPA), it's recognised that there are some situations that may mean you can access your savings earlier.
We understand this may be a stressful and uncertain time, however it's important to understand the circumstances where you may be allowed to access your retirement savings early.
- Ill Health – where an individual is unable to continue working before the age of 55 for health reasons.
- Serious Ill Health – where an individual has a life expectancy of less than 12 months.
The information below provides a high-level overview of the process involved when making an Ill Heath or Serious Ill Health claim.
In order to access retirement savings on ill-health grounds, a medical professional, for example a GP or Specialist, will need to provide evidence to support your claim.
When an ill-health claim is accepted, the benefit options that are available are the same as those that would apply from normal minimum pension age (currently 55).
- Cash lump sum
- Flexible regular income
- Annuities (guaranteed income)
- Choosing a combination of options
For more information about your retirement options please visit Taking your pension benefits – your options.
If you’re thinking of retiring because of ill health or a disability, it's important to take time to consider your options and what these will mean for you both financially and for your wellbeing. It's recommended that you seek financial advice or guidance from Pension Wise.
Serious Ill health
In order to access retirement savings on serious ill-health grounds, a medical professional, for example a GP or Specialist, will need to provide you with evidence to confirm that your life expectancy is less than 12 months.
When a serious ill-health claim is accepted, you can take your pension funds as a lump sum at any age.
For those under age 75 on the date of payment, the lump sum is paid tax-free subject to it being within your remaining lifetime allowance.
For those over age 75 on the date of payment, the lump sum will be taxed as pension income. The rate of tax will vary based on personal circumstances.
The government website and MoneyHelper also provide an overview of the ill-health and serious ill-health retirement process, along with details of other benefits you may be entitled to.
Getting in touch
If you would like to speak to us about retiring due to ill-health, please get in touch using the options below to discuss the next steps. If you don't know which service you belong to, please use our policy finder on our support page.