The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Planning for your retirement

Posted in General News and Newsletters

Deciding what to do with your retirement income is important and you should think carefully about what is right for you. 

We will write to you in advance of your 65th birthday to provide you with your retirement options. You may however claim your benefits at any time from age 55 whether you leave your employer or not.

There are circumstances when you can take your retirement benefits earlier than age 55 (for example, if you are forced to retire due to ill-health or are terminally ill).

There are a number of options available to you depending on the size of your pension pot.

  • Take your whole pot as cash

25% of this will be tax free, the remaining 75% will be subject to income tax.

  • Choose a guaranteed income with the full amount - by buying an annual pension (an annuity) with an insurance company


  • Choose a guaranteed income and a tax free lump sum - where you can take up to 25% as a tax free lump sum and the rest is used to buy an annual pension with an insurance company.

The Scheme does not currently offer flexible income (flexi-access drawdown or multiple lump sums) or the opportunity to mix pension options. If you are interested in these options you can transfer your entire pension pot to another provider. 

Remember, you do not need to decide on these options until you wish to take benefits and you should seek financial advice to determine the best option for you.

Pension Wise, the Government’s free and impartial guidance service, can help you make a decision on how to take your pension pot. Guidance can be accessed in a number of ways as detailed on the Pension Wise website.  You should access this guidance and consider taking independent financial advice to help you decide which option is most suitable for you.