You will need to transfer to a different pension provider to do this.
If you are an Equitable Life policyholder, and the Proposal goes ahead, the options you currently have will continue to be available.
This option allows you to move your money into a pension pot and take lump sums from it as and when you need to, while the balance remains invested. You can continue to do this until your money has run out.
If you start taking your pension pot as a number of lump sums, the tax relief you are entitled to each year on any future pension savings will be restricted to the amount of the ‘Money Purchase Annual Allowance’ (MPAA), currently £4,000 per annum, and you’ll be charged additional Income Tax on contributions in excess of this. Your future pension savings to which the limit applies, include contributions paid by you and/ or your employer into a defined contribution pension (i.e. a pension other than a scheme that pays you benefits based directly upon your salary and service). You should consider this carefully if you intend to continue saving for your retirement after you start taking your pension pot as a number of lump sums.
Each time you take a lump sum from your pension pot, 25% (one quarter) will be paid tax free and the other 75% (three quarters) will be taxable as income.
Each taxable lump sum may increase your overall income such that you will need to pay some tax, even if your income is normally too low to pay tax. If you already pay tax on your income, you may find that the tax on part of your overall income in the tax years that you take any lump sums is charged at a higher rate of Income Tax than you normally pay.
Income Tax will be deducted from each taxable lump sum payment before you receive it, in accordance with HMRC rules. The tax that HMRC rules require to be deducted may be more or less than you owe. It will be your responsibility to contact HMRC to obtain a refund, or pay any additional tax due.
You may be able to minimise the tax you pay on the money you take from your pension pot by taking your lump sums over a number of tax years.
If you take your pension pot as a number of lump sums, depending on your circumstances, you may create or increase any liability to Inheritance Tax that may apply on your death. The current point at which Inheritance Tax applies to an estate value is £325,000.
Please bear in mind that the government may change tax rates and rules in the future.
Some pension pots contain ‘Safeguarded Benefits’, which provide a potentially valuable guarantee relating to the ‘income for life’ option. The guarantee may entitle you to receive an income for life that is higher than would normally be available. The information provided to you with this Fact Sheet will tell you if any part of your pension pot includes Safeguarded Benefits. If it does, we recommend you obtain professional advice before making a final decision that involves losing that guarantee. And if the value of the part of your pension pot that includes such a guarantee is more than £30,000, we are required to obtain confirmation from your adviser that you have received appropriate independent advice, before we may release any of that part of your pension pot to another provider to take as a number of lump sums.
Taking your pension pot in a number of lump sums could affect your entitlement to State benefits, now or in later life. If you are currently receiving State benefits and/or you expect to receive them in the future, you should check whether there may be a reduction in your entitlement to them if you choose to take your pension pot as a number of lump sums. There is more information about how obtaining lump sums can affect your State benefits at GOV.UK.
Any untouched part of your pension pot will pass to your beneficiary. If you die before age 75, this will be paid tax free (provided the money is paid within two years of the provider being notified of your death, or otherwise it will be added to the beneficiary’s other income and subject to Income Tax). If you die at or after age 75, the untouched part of your pension pot will be added to the beneficiary’s other income and subject to Income Tax.
Once you’ve taken this option you won’t be able to change your mind subsequently, so you need to be certain that it is the right choice for you.
Tap the options below for an overview of available options to you.