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Accessing your savings

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There’s lots to think about in the run up to retirement, and understanding how the process works, the decisions you need to make and how long it takes will mean you have one less thing to worry about.

Below we’ve outlined a step by step guide on how retirement happens, depending on how you take your money. 

Don’t forget: You do have to wait for your last contribution to be paid into your Account before you can start taking your retirement savings (this could take up 6 weeks after you retire depending on when your last payroll payment goes through).

The process outlined here can take up to 6-8 weeks.  

The steps to retirement
  • Step 1

    You’ve agreed your retirement date with your employer. So first step is to ask the Plan Administrator for a retirement quote.

  • Step 2

    The Plan Administrator will get annuity quotes from Hargreaves Lansdown on your behalf at this point. Hargreaves Lansdown are specialists who research the market on behalf of the Plan Trustee to get you the best deal.

    Don’t forget: an annuity is another word for a regular pension paid to you for the rest of your life.

  • Step 3

    You’ll receive a retirement pack from the Plan Administrator. It includes how much your retirement savings are worth and a reminder of the choices you have for how you take your savings. 

    Take your time at this point and consider asking for financial advice about your different options.
    Click here to learn about your other choices.
    Click here to find out more about financial advice.

    Once you’ve returned your retirement claim form depending which option you choose, you’ll take one of the routes below.

Your three choices
Annuity or Annuity and tax-free lump sum
  • Your completed retirement claim forms and ID are received and processed by the Plan Administrator.

  • As you’ve requested an annuity or an annuity and a tax free cash sum (called a Pension Commencement Lump Sum) your annuity request will be sent to Hargreaves Lansdown by the Plan administrator.

  • The next step is for Hargreaves Lansdown to send you an annuity application form to complete.

  • Once completed and returned to Hargreaves Lansdown, they will inform the Plan Administrator that you wish to go ahead with an annuity.  The Plan administrator will instruct the investment manager to cash in your funds. The money is then transferred to the Trustee's bank account.

  • The Plan administrator will then arrange for any tax-free cash you've applied for to be paid into your bank account and the remaining funds (or all of the funds if you haven't requested a tax-free cash sum) to be paid to your chosen annuity provider.

  • Finally first pension payment will be made to you by your annuity provider.

  • Please note that if you're invested in any of the Aegon funds, then it can take up to 3 weeks for your funds to be dis-invested and the money transferred to the Trustee's bank account.
Cashing out
(UFPLS)
  • Your completed retirement claim forms and ID are received and processed by the Plan Administrator
  • With this option you'll be taking all of your retirement savings from the Plan as cash (called an Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum or UFPLS). The Plan administrator will instruct the investment manager to cash in your funds and pay them into the Trustee's bank account. 
  • Once recieved, the Plan Administrator will arrange for your retirement savings to be paid into your chosen bank account on the next payroll date which is usually the beginning of the month. The cut off date for payroll is mid-month so if they receive the completed forms after this you'll be paid at the beginning of the following month. For instance, if the comleted forms are received after the 15th April, your lump sum payment won't be made until the beginning of June.
  • You’ll get a confirmation letter to let you know it's happened.
  • You should be aware that depending on how much your UFPLS is, the first 25% will usually be tax-free and the rest taxed at your normal income tax rate.
  • Please note that if you're invested in any of the Aegon funds, then it can take up to 3 weeks for your funds to be dis-invested and the money transferred to the Trustee's bank account.
Transferring to a different pension arrangement e.g. for drawdown
  • Your completed retirement claim forms and ID are received and processed by the Plan Administrator

  • As you've chosen to transfer all your funds out of the Plan you'll be sent a transfer out pack by the Administrator which includes discharge forms that need to be filled in by you and your chosen provider.  

  • Once completed, the Plan Administrator will instruct the investment manager to cash in your funds and pay them into the Trustee's bank account.

  • The Plan Admininstrator will then arrange for this money to be paid to your chosen new provider.

  • Your provider will then arrange for you to receive whatever payments you've agreed with them as part of your drawdown product, if that's what you've chosen to do.

  • Please note that if you're invested in any of the Aegon funds, then it can take up to 3 weeks for your funds to be dis-invested and the money transferred to the Trustee's bank account.