Pension freedoms customer journey

Customers aged 55 or over with a defined contribution pension pot now have more choice and flexibility when accessing their pension savings.

On this page you'll find information about our communications and details of relevant literature for customers who want to know what their options are.

Whilst you can request an Options pack on behalf of a customer they must receive this pack directly from us before we can proceed. We don’t provide printed copies of these packs for advisers.

We've outlined what we'll send to the customer at each stage.

Stage 1 Options pack

We'll send an 'Options pack' to customers who request more information about accessing their pension pot. The customer must receive this pack directly from us before we can proceed. We don't provide printed copies of these packs for advisers but example documents are available from our Pension Freedoms - literature page. 

FCA regulations state we must provide customers with specific information which we include in our packs, including signposting to the free and impartial pension guidance with Pension Wise.

The Options pack includes:

  • A cover letter containing information such as the customer's current pension pot value, transfer value and details of any guarantees or features specific to their product.

  • An Accessing your Pension Pot brochure which includes product-specific options available to the customer and risks associated with the options.

  • A Request for Further Information and Risk Warning Questions which includes options for customers to request more information and a set of risk warning questions that must be answered. 

  • The Money Advice Service guide.

  • A Pension Wise letter.

  • Pension Freedoms - Your Questions Answered booklet.

Stage 2 Payment pack

Once the customer has decided which option(s) they would like more information on, we'll send a 'Payment pack' giving details of any relevant product warnings. This pack will also contain Personalised Risk Warnings, based on how the customer answered the Risk Warning Questions in Stage 1.

The contents of the Payment pack will depend on what option(s) the customer has chosen, but will include items such as:

  • A cover letter - containing details and warnings for the option(s) the customer has chosen
  • A Personalised Risk Warnings Document
  • A Payment Instruction Form
  • A Flexi-Access Drawdown Guide
  • A Receiving Scheme Declaration

To proceed, the customer will need to complete the Payment Instruction Form and return the document to us with a wet signature.

Stage 3 Payment and confirmation

Once we have all our requirements we'll action the request and send the customer a 'Confirmation letter', which will give details of the payment and any tax paid, along with any other documentation they may need relating to their chosen option, such as:

  • A Lifetime Allowance certificate
  • A Cancellation Notice/Post Sale Information
  • A Unit Statement
  • A P45/Pay Slip
  • A Flexible Access Statement

Other useful information 

Guidance and advice
We strongly recommend that customers use the Pension Wise guidance service.

However, as Pension Wise is an impartial government service that aims to help people understand their pension options and will not recommend any products or provide advice, we realise that you will wish to contact your clients yourself to offer advice tailored to their individual circumstances.

Claiming back emergency tax
You can find information on claiming back emergency tax on HMRC’s website.