Retirement Account is designed to support you throughout saving for your retirement, taking your benefits, or both.
A pension with the option of phasing in your retirement
While receiving favourable tax treatment
Over the way you access your benefits
The move from work to retirement
Product flexibility – Retirement Account has two distinct parts.
You have the flexibility to save and take your benefits when and how you choose.
Moving funds into Retirement Income allows you to take a flexible, taxable income, while keeping the remainder of your account invested. You can normally do this from age 55 or over.
Retirement Account has been designed with a transparent charging structure. We have broken the overall charges down into their component parts, so you should always have a clear picture of the costs.
We take this charge for setting up and managing your Retirement Account. It is calculated based on the value held in both the Retirement Planning and Retirement Income parts.
As the service charge table shows, if the total value of your Retirement Account increases, the rate of service charge can decrease. If the total value of your Retirement Account decreases, the rate of service charge can increase.
|Total value of Retirement Account||Service charge (per year)|
|From||To less than|
The service charge will be split proportionally between the Retirement Planning and Retirement Income parts of your account. It will be deducted monthly and the first service charge will be deducted one month after the Retirement Account start date.
*The tables above show the standard rates that apply for new Retirement Account applications. These rates may change in the future.
The investment charges depend on the type of investments you choose. If you have an adviser and you’re invested in Scottish Widows Pension Funds, see the Retirement Account Scottish Widows Pension Fund Charges guide for details. For other investments, speak to your financial adviser.
If you apply for a Retirement Account from a Scottish Widows adviser you will not have access to the full range of investment options available – we will tell you which options are available when you apply and provide you with the relevant investment guide including charges.
You only have to pay this charge if you buy a Retirement Account from an adviser. This is the cost of any advice and/or services that your financial adviser provides in relation to your Retirement Account and you will have agreed any amounts to be paid to them. Your adviser will normally offer you two payment options:
1.Pay your adviser directly. Or 2. Have the costs deducted from your Retirement Account.
The minimum payments into a new Retirement Account, after any tax relief has been added, are:
|Payment type||Minimum payment (gross)|
Please note – if there is more than one person paying into your Retirement Account, the different payers can reach the minimum payment amount between them. Different payment types can also be combined to achieve the minimum amount.
The minimum additional payments into an existing Retirement Account, after any tax relief has been added, are:
|Payment type||Minimum payment (gross)|
The minimum payment is £10,000 (before any tax-free lump sum is taken), provided there is at least £30,000 in the Retirement Planning element.
The minimum additional payment is £2,000 (before any tax-free lump sum is taken). Any remaining balance in the Retirement Planning part, if lower, can also be moved to Retirement Income.
To and through retirement, we want to make sure that you have the investment choice that you need. That’s why Retirement Account provides a wide range of asset classes to invest in. We aim to cater for straightforward investment requirements, as well as those that are more complex, giving you both freedom and flexibility, and providing a number of investment solutions to help support your income requirements throughout your retirement.
When considering your options here, it’s important to know that a Scottish Widows adviser can only discuss Scottish Widows funds and Strategies with you – others, for example fund supermarkets, you can only discuss and access via an independent financial adviser (IFA).
Below you’ll find more information about the different investment solutions and who you can talk to about them.
For more information, you can:
A fund supermarket:
We recommend that you speak to your IFA for more information on the fund supermarket.
Please see our Fund Supermarket Investor’s Guide
There are a number of other investment options available but, for these, only an IFA can discuss your options with you and/or make a recommendation. We have a number of guides available to help you have that conversation and you can find these below.
You and your IFA may decide that your investment needs are such that you require a more bespoke service to manage your Retirement Account investments.
We offer a range of Discretionary Fund Managers (DFMs) for you to choose from:
DFMs manage your investments, making investment decisions that bear in mind your circumstances, stated aims, attitude to risk, and other requirements. They can provide investment guidance, detailed research and risk profiling services.
Working with your IFA, the DFM will create and manage a bespoke investment portfolio on your behalf.
If you have an independent financial adviser (IFA) and would like more details, see the Retirement Account Share Dealing Guide
If you have an IFA and would like more details, see the Retirement Account Fixed Term Cash Deposit Guide
If you have an IFA and would like more details, see the Retirement Account Commercial Property Administration Guide
It’s important to keep up-to-date with how your pension is performing and keep track of any benefits you’re taking.
To help you do this, you can view your Retirement Account online where you’ll have access to the following information:
We’ll also send you a full statement each year.
You can normally access benefits from your Retirement Account from age 55 or over in the following ways. You don’t have to choose just one option, you can combine them to suit your own needs.
|From Retirement Planning||From Retirement Income|
Access to tax-free cash
Income Drawdown (Flexible Access Drawdown)
If you still have money in Retirement Planning you need to review your options and contact us before your 75th birthday. Under the terms of this policy we require you to choose your retirement option(s) by age 75. That way you can take advantage of the full range available 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.
If we don’t hear from you before your 75th birthday, we will automatically extend the Retirement Income part of your account to age 99. If you are taking income, continuing the current level of income payments after age 75 could use up all the monies held in your account well before age 99.
Retirement Account allows you to pass the value of your account on to your dependants or other beneficiaries, whether you are in Retirement Planning, Retirement Income, or both.
The value of your Retirement Account can be used to provide them with a lump sum or an income from an annuity or using income drawdown through Retirement Income.
If you die before you are 75, these benefits are normally tax free. If you die on or after age 75, they are taxed at the recipient’s marginal rate of income tax.
No inheritance tax will normally be payable on the value of your account because we will choose the beneficiary, taking into account any nomination you make.
An adviser will be able to help you decide whether a Retirement Account is suitable for you, can help to understand your attitude to risk, and advise you on the mix of investments that may best suit your retirement goals.
This will take into account factors such as your age, health and your wishes regarding provision for any dependants you may have. You can then make clear decisions based on clear choices.
If you haven't got a financial adviser:
A Scottish Widows adviser will help you in the same way that an independent financial adviser will but we can only advise you on investment funds and strategies provided by Scottish Widows.
You can speak to a Scottish Widows adviser by calling 0345 845 1004.
Alternatively, request a call back and we’ll call you at a time that’s best for you.
You can get more information on consolidating your pensions here.
Whatever stage of the retirement journey you’re at, get the basics before you go any further.
You now have more choices when it comes to taking your pensions and retirement income.
Got more than one pension? Then you could think about putting them all in one place. Combining your pensions with Scottish Widows is simple and we won't charge you for this service.