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If you’re unsure which pension portal applies to you, please contact your employer.

What is an annuity?

Video transcript

What is an annuity?


An annuity is a retirement income plan bought with your pension pot.

It’s designed to provide you a guaranteed regular income for the rest of your life.

The amount of income you’ll get for a given lump sum will depend on your age, health, lifestyle and type of annuity. 

Annuity or lump sum?

Video transcript

Annuity or Lump Sum?


When you retire, you could withdraw all your pension – however, you could receive a large tax bill.

You could purchase an annuity where the income is taxable.

Or another option is to take up to 25% of your pension as a tax-free lump sum, and to purchase an annuity with the rest.


Finally, you could leave it invested and take money as and when needed. But like these lifts, the value of pensions can go up as well as down. 

What age can I retire?

Video transcript

What age can I retire?


There is no compulsory age to retire – you can retire as early or late as you like.

You can start to access your individual and workplace pensions from 55 years [old – omitted].

The state pension starting age varies from 63 to 68, depending on when you were born.

How can I retire early?

Video transcript

How can I retire early?


If you want to retire early, you can start accessing an income from a Workplace or Individual Pension, usually from the age of 55.

You can also keep working after accessing your pension to supplement your income.

How much you’ll need when you retire depends on your outgoings, so it’s good to check to see how much you may get, ahead of time, so you have enough to live on.

How much is the State Pension?

Video transcript

How much is a state pension?



Full State Pension is a set amount each year.

It’s a bit like one of our jackets, it’s not one size fits all.

It’s dependent on your age, your gender and your National Insurance record.

But the easiest way to find out what yours will be is to go to


How do I claim State Pension?

Video transcript

How do I claim State Pension?


You won’t receive your State Pension automatically - you have to apply for it.

A letter should come to you four months before you reach State Pension age, telling you what to do.

If you don’t claim your state pension, it will be automatically deferred until you do, which can increase the amount you get.

I’ve just told them that!

Cut back and save

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Get expert advice on your plans

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Tracing lost pensions

It's easy to lose track of old pensions. Start by contacting your previous employer or contact the Pensions Tracing Service.