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Retirement Options

What are my retirement options?

You could:

• Take some or all of your savings as cash

Normally 25% is tax free and the rest taxable at your marginal rate.  You can find more information here.

• Transfer your savings to another company

This includes transferring to a product that pays you an income while keeping your money invested.  These are often described as Income Drawdown or flexible investment-linked annuity policies.  They can give the potential for your income to grow, but it may not be guaranteed and there may be a risk that your income will go down.  You can find more information here.

• Use your savings to take cash and buy an annuity on the open market

An annuity is a guaranteed income for the rest of your life.  Buying an annuity is a one-off decision that will set the level of income throughout your retirement and cannot be changed. 

As the Equitable does not offer annuities we have teamed up with Canada Life and they will offer you a wide range of annuities.  However, you do not have to buy an annuity with Canada Life.  You should shop around as you may get a higher income elsewhere.  You can use the illustration from Canada Life to compare their annuity with what other companies can provide.  A diagram of the process you would need to follow is linked here.

You should consider whether you may be eligible for an enhanced annuity, which could pay a much higher level of income.  Companies take different lifestyle and medical factors into account.  You should shop around for the enhanced annuity that could give you the best income. 

Not every policy will offer all of these retirement options.  Do contact us if you would like to know what is available to you.

Can you provide advice on what I should do?
No, the Society is unable to provide advice. Before you make any financial decisions about your retirement, we recommend you seek free impartial guidance.  You can do this by visiting Pension Wise at www.pensionwise.gov.uk, the Government sponsored service which offers free impartial guidance to policyholders about what to do with their savings at retirement.

You may also want to consider seeking independent financial advice. A financial adviser will inform you of the fee that they charge for their service. To find Independent Financial Advisers in your area, the website www.unbiased.co.uk is very helpful.

The Pensions Advisory Service is also able to provide you with free impartial information and guidance on all pension matters. Their telephone number is 0300 123 1047 and their website can be found at www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk.

Alternatively, the Money Advice Service offers a range of guides on financial matters, including pensions. They can be contacted on 0300 500 5000 or via their website at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

Who can I contact if I need more information?
You can find more detailed information on your retirement options here.  Alternatively, you can contact us from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday on 0330 159 1530. Or you can write to us at:

Equitable Life
Walton Street
Aylesbury
Bucks
HP21 7QW