When can I access my pension?
To start with it is important to know that you can access your pension from age 55 but it might not be the right choice for you depending on how much money you have.
How much do you have in your personal or company pensions? You need to know this so you can check if you're on the right track to get to where you want to be.
You can contact your pension provider for an illustration. You'll need to give them a rough idea of when you want to retire. But you're not held to this date in any way. It'll just help them work out how much money you might have in your pension by the time you need it.
Remember if you have more than one pension you will need to get an illustration for all of them.
Things to think about...
Your State Pension - it’s easy to find out how much you’ll get from your State Pension and when you’ll start getting it. You can find this out by visiting here.
Have you got any savings or investments? It’s a good idea to add together any savings you have to see how much money you have outside your pension.
Your home -perhaps you’ve been thinking about downsizing in retirement? If so, it might be worth getting a rough value of your home (it’s easy to look at prices in your street and area online).
Lost pensions – many of us have had several jobs and may have lost track of company pensions as the years went on. The Government have a free pensions tracking service, so if you aren’t sure, it is worth getting in touch.
The Association of British Insures (ABI) carried out some *research to see just how much money is lost in unclaimed pensions. It's estimated that 1.6 million lost pensions pots worth nearly £20 billion could remain unclaimed. So it's definitely worth checking.
*source: ABI 10/2018
Deciding when to retire can be difficult
You need to ensure you have the full picture to get where you need to be. So, now we’ve looked at some of the key things to see ‘how much money you will have’, the next step is to consider what you’ll actually need.
These two things may sound similar but they probably aren’t the same.
You can learn more about this in our article 'How much will I need in retirement?'