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Your options from age 55

Choosing to take your money from your Lifestyle Account is one of life's big decisions. You've paid in money over the years, you'll want to be sure you're making the right choice so that your future is secure.

You can access your pension savings any time from age 55, whether or not you've stopped working. You can delay taking money from your Lifestyle Account, if you get close to your chosen retirement age and decide you want to keep paying in for a bit longer, you can.

It's important you shop around to find the best option for your personal circumstances and income goals. It's a big decision so it's worth comparing what each provider can offer. Pension Wise is a free and impartial service backed by the government who will help you shop around and make ensure that the decisions you're making are the right ones for you.

Ready to make a choice
Once you're ready to take your money and you've decided which option (or options) you want to take, you can get in touch for all the information you need and any relevant forms.

We're also here to help so if you have any final questions or you need any more information before you make your decision, just let us know.

When you are 4 months away from your Target Retirement Age, we will automatically send you a 'maturity pack' which will give you more detail on the options available to you and what you need to do next.

OptionHow will I be taxed?

All as cash

You can take all of your Lifestyle Account as cash - either all in one go or as a small number of payments.

If you've already received 25% of your savings tax free, the rest of your cash will be subject to Income Tax, so you should consider carefully how much you take and when you take it (or you might pay a higher tax rate). 

Read our example case study.

Up to 25% of it will be tax-free but the rest may be taxed as income.

Income Drawdown
A bit at a time - an income when you need it

You can access your Lifestyle Account in a way that suits you - either on a regular basis or as and when you like.

Income Drawdown therefore provides more flexibility but also more risk as your account will remain invested. It is important to understand that your money can run out and therefore careful management of your savings will be required.

The income you take will be subject to Income Tax if your overall annual income is above your Income Tax threshold. 

Read our example case study

* Income Drawdown is not available within The Guardian Lifestyle Plan. You would need to transfer to a provider that offers this option.  This includes the Legal & General WorkSave Mastertrust (RAS) - Pension Access Scheme which is provided by Legal & General.

Up to 25% of it will be tax-free but the rest may be taxed as income.

Regular guaranteed income (annuity)

You can choose to convert your Lifestyle Account into a regular income that you’ll
receive for the rest of your life. To do this you’ll need to talk to an insurance company to buy
an annuity. You do not have to purchase your annuity with Legal & General - you are free to choose the best value option at the time.

At retirement, we'll help you by providing details of how to ‘shop around' to find the insurance company who will give you the best rates and explain how you can benefit from enhanced annuity rates where medical conditions exist. The regular money you receive from your annuity payments count as income so you'll have to pay tax if your overall annual income is above the Income Tax threshold.

Read our example case study.

Up to 25% of it will be tax-free. Each payment may be taxed as income.

You can choose more than one option and provider
You don't just have to choose one option or provider. You can mix and match your options for each Lifestyle Account you have.

Your state pension

Find out more about the state pension, where you can go for more information and how much you might get when you reach your state pension age.

Pension Wise

A free and impartial service backed by the government who will help you make ensure that the decisions you’re making are the right ones for you.

Investment decisions at retirement

It’s important to ensure your Lifestyle Account is invested in a way that matches how you plan to take your money.

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