Your options at different ages

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Before 55

What are my options before I turn 55?

The minimum age you can starting taking your pension is 55 (except on grounds of ill health). This is set by the Government.

However, just because you can’t usually take any pension benefits before 55, doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about how you’d like to take them.

Getting ready to make a decision

Finding out about your options in advance will give you more time to think about what you’d like to do. So, when the time comes to make a decision about taking your pension benefits, you can make sure you’re ready. Have a look at your options from 55, from 60 and from 65.

Different options will suit different people. If you’re not sure which option would be best for you, speak to an independent financial adviser. They might charge you for their time.

Topping up your pension benefits

Before 55, you might want to think about how much you’re saving. If you want more money to live on later in life, you can make extra payments to the RMPP to top up your pension benefits. These payments are called Additional Voluntary Contributions.

You might want to think about making Additional Voluntary Contributions if:

  • you want to save more for the long-term, in a way that could save tax
  • you started saving into your pension later in life
  • you stopped working for a while – for example, to raise a family or have a career break
  • you want to retire early and need some extra money to help you do this
  • a lot of what you earn doesn’t count towards your pension – like overtime, for example.

Find out how you can make Additional Voluntary Contributions.


From 55

What are my options between 55 and 60?

Between age 55 and your 60th birthday, if you keep working for your employer, you can choose one of the following four options:

  1. Carry on as you are and don’t take any benefits early
  2. Take just your Age60 benefits early and carry on building up your Age65 benefits
  3. Take just your Age65 benefits early (you will stop building up further benefits)
  4. Take all of your benefits early (you will stop building up further benefits)

Download our​ Flexible Pension Guide below to see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

What are my options when I turn 60?

Have a look at your options from 60 and from 65.


From 60

What are my options between 60 and 65?

Between age 60 and your 65th birthday, if you keep working for your employer, you can choose one of the following two options:

  1. Take just your Age60 benefits and carry on building up your Age65 benefits
  2. Take all of your benefits (you will stop building up further benefits)  

Download our​ Flexible Pension Guide to see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

What are my options when I turn 65?

Have a look at your options from 65.


From 65

What are my options after 65?

From age 65 you can choose one of the following two options if you keep working for your employer:

  1. Take just your Age60 benefits (if you haven’t already done this) and carry on building up your Age65 benefits
  2. Take all of your benefits (you will stop building up further benefits) 

Download our Flexible Pension Guide below to see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.


Documents

Flexible Pension Guide

Think about when you'd like to start taking your benefits

You’d normally be able to start taking some of your pension benefits at 60 and some at 65. These are called your Age60 benefits and your Age65 benefits.

What happens if I stop working for my employer?

If you stop working for your employer, you’ll have to start taking your Age60 benefits at 60 and your Age65 benefits at 65. If you leave after that, you’ll starting taking your benefits automatically.

What happens if I keep working for my employer?

Flexible Pension is a way you can start taking some, or all, of your pension benefits sooner than you might think if you keep working for your employer.

With Flexible Pension, you can start taking your benefits as early as 55. This is the minimum age set by the Government.

Do I have to take my benefits early?

No. It’s your choice whether you take your benefits early or not. If you don’t want to do so, you don’t have to. You can carry on contributing to the RMPP and keep on building up your benefits.

What are my options?

There are a number of different Flexible Pension options to choose from, depending on:

  • Your personal circumstances
  • How old you are

See your options for before 55, from 55, from 60 and from 65 below or read our Flexible Pension Guide.

Different options will suit different people, and the amount you get will be reduced if you take your benefits early. So, before you make a decision, make sure you understand how each option would affect you.

Where can I get guidance and advice?

If, having thought about your personal circumstances, you need a little guidance, please contact the Pensions Helpline.

If you need financial advice, you can get advice from an independent financial adviser. To find out more, go to unbiased.co.uk.