What is considered ‘flexible access’ when it come to my pension benefits?

I am getting myself up to speed with all the changes in the pension legislation in the 2015 Budget and I want to make sure I am clear on what flexible pension access actually means and the types of pension it impacts.

Question asked by Gareth Small
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Answered by Neil Adams

Under the current rules, ‘flexibly accessing’ your pension benefits covers:

  • Taking an uncrystallised funds pension lump sum (UFPLS) or a standalone lump sum;
  • Having flexible drawdown before 6 April 2015;
  • Taking an income payment from a drawdown plan set up (or converted to flexible drawdown) after 5 April 2015;
  • Exceeding the income limits from a drawdown plan set up before 6 April 2015;
  • Taking an income payment from a scheme pension with 12 or fewer members or from a flexible annuity;

However, it does not include:

  • Taking tax-free cash and no income;
  • Taking a pension as a ‘small pot’ (i.e. less than £10,000 in value);
  • Taking income from a ‘capped drawdown’ plan set up before 6 April 2015, which remains within the capped limits;
  • Taking a pension as an annuity or scheme pension.
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This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
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