How do I take my pension benefits?

I want to use the money in my pension pot

When you reach 55, you can start using the money in your pension pot. You don’t have to. If you want, you can keep your money invested with us.

If you want to use your money, you’ve got three options. You can:

  1. Use some or all of it to buy a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life – an annuity.
  2. Take some or all of it as a cash lump sum.
  3. Take some of it as a flexible income, and keep the rest invested.

You don’t have to choose just one option – you can mix and match if you like. For example, you could take some of your pot as a cash lump sum, and use the rest to buy an annuity.

Your three pension options in three minutes

Here’s a short video that explains what you can do with the money you’ve saved.

We don’t offer every one of these options so you'll need to shop around. To find out which ones we do offer, give us a call.

Make the right choice for you

If you’re like most people, the money in your pension pot will need to last for the rest of your life. And once you’ve made a decision, you might not be able to change your mind. So it’s important to get all the information you need to feel confident that you’re making the right decision for you.

For impartial guidance, get in touch with Pension Wise. It’s a free service run by the government. Pension Wise can’t tell you what to do with your money, but they can give you more information about how the different types of pension work, and what to look out for with taxes and fees. You can get information online at or phone 0800 138 3944 to talk to someone or to book a face-to-face appointment.

You could also visit the Money Advice Service website to learn more about different types of annuity and other kinds of pension and retirement income. Look for them online at or call them on 0800 138 1677.

We can give you general information about the kinds of questions you might want to think about. But for advice that’s specific to you, you’ll need to talk to a financial adviser. We’d always recommend you talk to one before making any big decisions about your money. You can find a financial adviser at They’ll probably charge you for their time.