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Posted on: 15 Jan, 20

You’ve worked hard for your retirement, but before you can start enjoying it, you’ll need to decide how your pension will provide the income you need to live on.

In March 2014, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced a radical reform of the pensions system to give people greater flexibility to access their pension savings. The new pension freedoms took full effect from 6 April 2015 and have given retirees a whole host of new options.

There is no longer a compulsory requirement to purchase an annuity (a guaranteed income for life for a fixed number of years) when you retire. The introduction of pension freedoms brought about fundamental changes to the way we can access our pension savings.

Pension freedom rules mean those aged over 55 no longer have to purchase an annuity to access their pension income but can instead enter drawdown or take a cash amount. There is now much greater flexibility around how you take your benefits from Money Purchase Pension (Defined Contribution) schemes, which includes Self- Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).

How pensions can be taken has been dramatically relaxed

Since the rules governing how pensions can be taken have been dramatically relaxed, more people are using pension freedoms to access their retirement savings, but the amount they are individually withdrawing has continued to fall, according to the latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Pension freedoms have given retirees considerable flexibility over how they draw an income or withdraw lump sums from their accumulated retirement savings. There is no doubt the pension freedoms have been hugely popular...

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