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Retirement Account

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Frequently asked questions for Retirement Account

How does a pension work?

Read our beginners’ guide to pensions and retirement where we explain the different pension savings options and how to make the most of your money when you retire.


Can I transfer my pension into the Retirement Account?

You can choose to transfer any other pension plans you have to the Retirement Account. This could make your pensions savings easier for you to manage, or provide you with the investment you require. You should always seek advice before transferring the value of a pension plan. Transferring may mean giving up valuable guarantees or other benefits offered by your existing pension arrangement(s).


Am I eligible for a Retirement Account?

If you’re normally resident in the UK, you may be eligible for a Retirement Account. If you’re resident elsewhere, you still may be able to take out a Retirement Account depending on your tax status and country of residence.

You can make a contribution towards a Retirement Planning Account at any time up to age 75.

Retirement Income starts from age 55 and as long as you've moved your assets into Retirement Income by age 75, will continue until age 99.

If you haven't moved your assets into Retirement Income by age 75 then you will only be able to choose an annuity as your option with us, or you may be able to transfer your assets elsewhere to obtain other benefits.


Will the Retirement Account allow me to consolidate all my existing pension savings?

Yes, the Retirement Account can allow you to consolidate your existing pension savings into one policy. Find out more.


What is The Control Account and what are the adjustment rates?

The Control Account acts as a clearing and transactional account.

If a Control Account has a positive balance it may receive positive balance adjustments.

Should a Deferred Charge occur, each day it cannot be collected from the Control Account, the Deferred Charge will increase.


How can I find out what the Retirement Account will cost?

The Retirement Account has three types of charge.  They vary depending on the value of your plan, the investment funds you choose and how you’ve agreed to pay your financial adviser.

A personalised illustration will show the charges that will apply to your plan as well as what you may get at retirement if certain assumptions are met. You can get an illustration from your financial adviser or speak to a Scottish Widows adviser.

Charges, limits and terms may change from time to time.


When can I start taking my benefits?

You can normally access your benefits anytime between the ages of 55 and 99.

For further details of the retirement benefits available, please see our Pension Options page or refer to the Key Features of the Retirement Account.


When do I need to decide what retirement option to take?

You need to review your options and contact us before your 75th birthday. Under the terms of this policy we require you to choose a retirement option by age 75. That way you can take advantage of the full range of available options and don’t miss out on taking your pension in the way that best suits your needs.

If we don’t hear from you before your 75th birthday, we will automatically buy an annuity for you in accordance with the policy terms. This will give you a regular and guaranteed income for life but you will lose the opportunity to take tax-free cash or an alternative option which may better suit your needs. By missing out on the opportunity to shop around you might end up with a lower income as a better deal might be available elsewhere.

If you don’t want to make a decision by age 75, you may be able to delay choosing a retirement option by transferring your policy to another provider. Any transfer request would need to be completed prior to your 75th birthday.


How do I know this is the right pension for me?

You should discuss your pension needs with your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find a local financial adviser here.


How can I keep track of my pension?

Once you’ve started your Retirement Account, you can view your account online at any time to get a valuation of your pension savings. We will also send you updates each year of your Retirement Account value, along with an illustration of what you may get at retirement if certain assumptions are met.

We aim to make it easy for you to keep track of your pension savings by providing you with online access. If you haven't already registered, you can register now.


What happens if I die before I retire?

The value of your Account will be used to provide benefits for your nominated beneficiaries or any dependants and can include lump sum or income payments.

Normally no inheritance tax is payable.

Before age 75, the benefits can be paid as tax-free income or a tax-free lump sum or both.

On or after age 75, the benefits can be paid as an income, or as a lump sum, in either case taxed at the recipient's marginal rate of tax.

For further details of the death benefits, please refer to the Key Features of the Retirement Account.


Can I apply directly to Scottish Widows for a Retirement Account?

You can apply for a Retirement Account through a financial adviser, who will be able to help you decide whether a Retirement Account is suitable for you.

Your Adviser can also help to define your attitude to risk and advise you on the mix of investments that may best suit your retirement goals.

Alternatively, you can speak to a Scottish Widows adviser.

Charges, limits and terms may change from time to time.


How to apply