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Understanding my retirement options

You may be thinking about the options you’ll have in the future when you stop working, or perhaps you’re now ready to retire. Whatever your situation, we want to help lay out the main options open to you for your NEST pension, and any other retirement savings that you might have.

What options do I have?

From the age of 55, you are able to do any of the following with your pension pot:

  1. Keep your money invested so it can grow further. If you are not ready to retire yet then you could let your pot grow further, meaning when you do choose to retire you could have more income to enjoy. Simply let us know what your new retirement date is, if you haven’t already. If you would like to increase your contributions to help your retirement pot grow even more, then take a look at our Saving for retirement page.
  2. Take some of your money. You have the option to take some of your money out of your pension and leave the remaining funds in NEST.  You don’t have to take all of your money at once, and only the first 25% of what you do take will be tax free.
  3. Take all of your money. From 55 you can take all of your money out. Just remember that if you take it all out in one go, you won’t be able to use money for your future retirement needs and you may have to pay income tax on up to 75% of it.
  4. Transfer to another pension provider. You might choose this option if you want to buy a retirement product such as a drawdown or an annuity, neither of which NEST is currently able to offer. A drawdown provides a regular retirement income through specially reinvested funds while an annuity provides a guaranteed retirement income for life or a set period. Learn more from the Money Advice Service on income drawdown and what is annuity.

Whichever option you choose, we recommend that you think carefully before taking action.

When you’re close to retirement you can get free, impartial guidance from Pension Wise. They can explain all your options, the decisions you’ll need to make and which taxes or fees to look out for. All this can help prepare you for when you’re able to take your money at age 55.

If you’re over 50 you can book a phone appointment or arrange a face-to-face meeting by calling Pension Wise on 0800 138 3944 between 8am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday. You can also use this service if you’re able to access your pot earlier than 50 because of ill health.

While it’s hopefully something you’ll never have to worry about, you risk losing a lifetime of savings in an instant if you’re not wise to pension scams. If an offer to access or grow your money sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Once you’ve signed over your pot, you could lose it all and won’t be able to get it back.

Learn more from The Pension Regulator about how you can keep your money safe

Let us know what you’d like to do

If you do want to do something with your pension pot - whether you’d like to change your retirement date, increase contributions to grow your pot, or take money out as a lump sum - you need to let us know. You can do this by logging in to your online account (you may need to register if you haven’t already). You can also get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Read more about your retirement options

For further details on the options you’ll have when you’re getting close to your NEST retirement date, check out our helpful guide.