Choosing the right option is a big decision that will affect the rest of your life. Our retirement checklist covers some of the main points you should consider.

Retirement checklist

Knowing the basics

Can you answer yes to the following?

  • I know what I’m going to get from my State Pension
  • I know I can afford to retire
  • I understand how I will be taxed in retirement
  • I understand the impact of taking my pension on debts and means-tested benefits

Not sure? Visit Retirement Explained

Understand your options

Can you answer yes to the following?

  • I understand the options that are available
  • I understand the differences between these options
  • I know which option suits my circumstances
  • I understand how the Money Purchase Annual Allowance will affect my future contributions if I take money out

Not sure? Visit Your pension options

Calculate your retirement income

Can you answer yes to the following?

  • I have calculated how much income I could receive from each option
  • I understand the impact of tax on my income
  • I understand how long my money will last and what will happen to it when I die

Not sure? Visit Retirement calculators

Things to consider

Can you answer yes to the following?

  • I know what type of pension I have and the benefits it includes
  • I’ve read through the Government's Pension Wise website
  • I know I will need to shop around to get the right deal

Pension scams

Fraudsters may target customers with new access to large sums of money. Make sure you know how to recognise scams and protect yourself.

Not sure? Visit Things to consider

Key risks

It is extremely important that you understand the risks of taking your pension benefits. Here are questions and answers to guide you through the risks and considerations you should be aware of.

  • Have you taken financial advice?

    If not, you can still seek financial advice, which will provide you with recommendations based on your personal circumstances. A charge usually applies for advice.

  • Have you made provisions for your dependants?

    It’s important to consider any dependants you have when making decisions about your pension savings and the financial impact it will have on them when you die.

  • Have you thought about medical conditions that may enhance your income?

    Medical conditions can impact the income you may receive. It may mean you could have received a higher income from your pension savings if you chose an annuity to provide a guaranteed income.

  • Have you considered the effect of inflation on your income?

    The effect of inflation means the cost of goods and services will go up over time, so your money from your pension savings will buy you less in the future.

  • Have you considered how long you will require an income to last?

    You should carefully consider how long you need your income to last and remember that you will need to plan your retirement spending accordingly. The length of time you’ll require an income for is often underestimated.

  • Have you considered charges for your new product?

    You need to consider any charges that may apply to any new products you are thinking about buying from your pension savings. These may be higher than the charges applying to your existing pension.

  • Have you thought about scams?

    There’s a chance that fraudsters will try to target people like you with access to large sums of money. If you’re approached about a new investment opportunity, we strongly recommend that you discuss it with a financial adviser first. Never be pressured into making a quick decision about investments. Before you sign anything, call The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047. To learn more about scams and fraud tactics visit

  • Have you considered how this affects any means-tested benefits?

    It’s important to consider the impact on any means-tested benefits you may be receiving. These may stop or reduce if you access your pension savings. If you think this may apply to you, you should speak to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office in your local area to understand the impact on your own circumstances.

  • Are you aware any creditors you may have could have a claim over your pension once you claim it?

    Pension savings have a level of protection if you're made insolvent or bankrupt. If you take savings from your pension, you'll lose this protection on the amount you take and any creditors (people you owe money to) may be able to claim all or part of this sum.

Ready to choose?

Existing pensions customers

The following information is for customers with a Scottish Widows, LTSB, Clerical Medical or Halifax pension.

Not an existing customer?

Speak to us

  • Scottish Widows or LTSB pension, please call 0345 835 6644
  • Halifax pension, please call 0345 835 6645
  • Clerical Medical pension, please call 0345 835 6646
  • We are open Mon to Fri 8am–6pm and Sat 9am–12.30pm

We may record and monitor telephone calls with you in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve our quality of service.

Take it all in cash

You can take all your pension in cash using our secure online form.

Take it all in cash

Defer your pension

You don’t have to choose right now.

Leave it for now

If your pension is with another company

We hope you found the information on this site useful. To find out more about your pension policy, you should speak to your pension provider.