What’s the earliest age at which I can access my personal pension benefits?

I know with the changes in the budget introducing pension freedom we are now able to access are pension benefits earlier and in a more flexible way. At what age is it now permitted to start drawing from a pension and are there any penalties for taking it early?

Question asked by Joanna Long
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Answered by Neil Adams

The earliest you can access your pension

Currently, the earliest age at which you can normally draw your pension is 55. The government plans to raise this to age 57 from 2028 from whence it will then increase in line with any rise in the State Pension age. (The rise will not affect public sector schemes such as those covering firefighters, the police and the armed forces.)

Exceptions to the rule

In general, most people are now prohibited from accessing their pension benefits until age 55. However, there is a small and shrinking group of people who can access their benefits from an earlier age. This group is divided into two camps. The first are employees whose employment contracts might entitle them to retire earlier. This group enjoys the protection of employment law.

The second group are professional sportsmen or dancers with older style pension contracts. In some instances such professions can access their benefits from their mid-30s or up. However, more recent pension arrangements have moved away from this type of arrangement.

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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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