Coming up to retirement
Getting ready for life after work
The world of pensions changed with the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015. There's now more choice in how you can access your savings from age 55.
If you’re getting close to the time that you’d like to stop working – or at least, start taking your pension benefits – it’s important to know what your different options are.
1. Understanding your options is easier than you might think
Not everyone's plans are the same. When it comes to retirement, some people choose to stop working entirely, while others ease into retirement by working part-time. Whichever you decide is right for you, it’s important to understand how the options available at retirement could work for you.
2. Take five and see how your pension pot is shaping up
No one can know for certain what’s going to happen in 5, 10 or 20 years, but understanding how much your pension pot could be worth and what that could mean for you in retirement is really important.
Our handy online tools(Opens new window)(Opens new window)(Opens new window) help you see what your pension pot could be, and how much yearly income it could give you.
3. Check if your investments are in the right place
How much you have to live on at retirement doesn’t just depend on how much money you save. It’s important to make sure you’re in the right funds too, as this can change over time.
Take too little a risk when you’re starting out, and you might not get the benefit of all the years your pension could be growing. But taking too high a risk as you get closer to retirement won’t keep you protected from peaks and troughs in the market. The key is to find the right balance for you. If you need help with these important decisions, it's always worth getting professional financial advice.
4. Could bringing your pots together save you money?
Most people have a few pensions from different jobs they’ve had over time. But some people don’t realise that with each one having its own set of charges, they could be costing them more than they think. Not to mention the time it takes to keep track of them.
The good news is that consolidating them – bringing them together in one place – could make your life easier and may save you money too. You will need to check if any of your pension pots have protections, guarantees or bonuses that would be lost if you moved them. You also need to check if there's an exit fee due on transferring out any of your pension pots.
Find out more about bringing your pots together and whether it makes good financial sense for you.
A transfer for consolidation purposes is from one capital at risk pension product to another – so the value of your investments after any consolidation can still fall as well as rise and the final value of your combined pension pots may be less than you’ve paid in. Any new funds you move your money into will have their own set of risks that will be detailed in the fund information that will be available to you.
Where the transfer is from a defined benefit (or final salary) pension scheme, you'll be moving from a secure benefit arrangement to a capital at risk pension product, where the value of your pension pot can then fall as well as rise. This is another reason why it's important you get professional advice to establish if this is likely to be in your best interests, and you understand all the pros and cons of such a transfer.
5. Got a question? We’re only a call away if you need to talk
No matter how much time you spend planning your retirement, you’re bound to have a few questions. The good news is that, Aegon Assist are on hand to help.
A free, friendly, UK-based team of trained specialists who can help guide you through the decision-making process, Aegon Assist help you make your own choices about your retirement savings.
We don’t offer advice and can't make any recommendations – you need to contact a financial adviser for that.
6. Your retirement options in a nutshell
Tax-free lump sums, flexible draw-downs and annuities. All phrases you hear a lot when people talk about pensions – but most people aren’t sure exactly what they are, let alone what might be right for them.
Even if retirement’s a little way off, it’s important to know what your options are.
For a guide to legal and technical words that you may come across, visit our Glossary of terms(Opens new window).