Once you approach your retirement date, we will automatically send you a personalised retirement options pack.

We will also begin sending you information from 15 years before your retirement date and every 5 years thereafter, so you have plenty of time to think about your retirement.

Comparing retirement options

As you begin to think about what you want your retirement to look like, you will need to start making choices about how you want to draw your pension. Creative Pension Trust offers you the following options:

  • Leaving your pension to grow
  • Taking your full pension in one go
  • Drawing your pension gradually*
  • Securing a guaranteed regular income

Each option has it’s considerations. To understand them better, you can look at our Retirement Guide in the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal.

Your choices at retirement are some of the most important financial decisions you will make. To ensure you understand your options and can make the best decisions, you may want to consider seeking financial advice. You can find out more about financial advice and guidance on this website.

* Just so you know, these options vary depending on which Creative Pension Trust workplace pension your employer has selected. To understand which options are available to you, take a look at your Retirement Guide, which you can find in the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal.

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Applies to all our plans

What are the choices you can make?

The following video can help give you some insight into what each of the options for retirement are:

Need more information?

Depending on your personal requirements you can access your Creative Pension Trust savings in several ways. This simplified summary provides a comparison of each option, but you should take time to understand your choices in more detail and take advantage of a free and impartial Pension Wise appointment, available to anyone over 50 via the government-backed MoneyHelper service.

Just so you know, these options vary depending on which Creative Pension Trust workplace pension your employer has selected. To understand which options are available to you, take a look at your Retirement Guide, which you can find in the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal.

Use the table below to help you understand the differences between each option:

Leave it to grow

Take all of your pension in one go

Access your pension savings gradually

(Check your Retirement Guide to understand which options below are available under your plan)

Guaranteed regular income

Keeping your membership

Cashing-in your pension

Flexi-access Drawdown

Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum (UFPLS)

Buying an annuity

What happens to your pension?

It can continue to grow. You and your employer can continue to pay in. You will benefit from tax relief (where applicable) and any investment growth.

Normally, your pension account will be closed when you take your money in full.

You can draw a tax-free lump sum

in isolation and leave the rest of

your pension savings invested.

Each time you take a tax-free lump

sum payment a proportion of your

savings will be transferred into a new

Flexi-Access account that you can

then use to draw your pension when

you need it.

You can draw payments as and when you need and leave the rest of your pension savings invested.

You can use some or all of your pension to buy an annuity, which provides a guaranteed regular income. Any remaining pension savings are treated separately.

Will you need to review your arrangements?

Yes. You should tell us when you think you might retire, keep your details up to date and monitor your investments to ensure they are appropriate to you.

No. Your account will normally be closed. However, by taking your pension all at once you will need to consider how you will support yourself in the future.

Yes. You should review your investments regularly to ensure they are appropriate. You should also regularly review the amount of withdrawals you are making and consider if your pension will last long enough.

Yes. You should review your investments regularly to ensure they are appropriate. You should also regularly review the amount of withdrawals you are making and consider if your pension will last long enough.

No. If you use all of your pensions savings to buy an annuity, we will normally close your account. If you are only using some and leaving the remainder, see ‘Leaving your pension for now' for additional information.

Are there other flexibilities?

Yes. You can pay in more to boost your savings and consolidate other old pensions into your account to give you a clear picture of your retirement and you can take your pension when you are ready.

No. Your account will normally be closed, but you can use your pension money however you choose.

Yes. This option provides the greatest level of flexibility. You can access your savings periodically when you need to top-up your income. If you change your mind later, you can buy a guaranteed income with the remainder.

Yes. You can access your savings periodically when you need to top-up your income and can decide to buy a guaranteed income later with the remainder if you change your mind.

No. When you buy an annuity you no longer have access to the savings used to buy it. The basis and benefits you receive are agreed at the start and cannot normally be changed. You should understand your options before you make any decisions.

Are there any limits or other considerations?

Yes. You and your employer can save a total of £40,000* tax-free into your pension per year. This is known as the Annual Allowance. Tax relief (where applicable) applies up to a maximum of 100% of your earnings or the Annual Allowance, whichever is lower. Lower limits may apply if you have very high earnings. If you are actively paying into other pension schemes when you take benefits, the total amount you and your employer can pay in reduces to a limit of £4,000* each year. There is a lifetime cap on the size of your pension pot that gets tax relief. This is £1,055,000.

No. You can take your entire pension savings in cash and all at once. However, if you have a large amount of pension savings, this will normally result in a significant (and unnecessary) tax charge that can substantially reduce the amount you are left with. If you are actively paying into other pension schemes when you take benefits, in most circumstances, the total amount you and your employer can pay in reduces to a limit of £4,000* each year.

Yes. To use Flexi-Access Drawdown, you'll need a minimum pension pot of £10,000. The minimum amount you can draw each time is £2,000. You must have a minimum remaining balance of £5,000. You can make 4 withdrawals a year, one in each quarter. If you are actively paying into other pension schemes when you take benefits that are in excess of your taxfree lump sum allowance, the total amount you and your employer can pay in reduces to a limit of £4,000* each year.

Yes. To use UFPLS, you'll need a minimum pension pot of £10,000. The minimum amount you can draw each time is £2,000. You must have a minimum remaining balance of £5,000. You can make 4 withdrawals a year, one in each quarter. If you are actively paying into other pension schemes when you take benefits, the total amount you and your employer can pay in reduces to a limit of £4,000* each year.

No. There are not normally any limits to an annuity purchase, but each provider has their own annuity rates and may have their own rules. You should check these carefully and shop around for the best deal as your decision may be irreversible.

Can you access tax-free cash?

No. You'll need to consider another option to access this.

Yes. The first 25% of your pension pot will be paid tax-free.

Yes. Up to 25% of your pension savings will be paid tax-free. You can choose to take all of your tax-free cash at once or in multiple, varying amounts without having to draw any further income.

Yes. The first 25% of each lump sum you draw will be tax-free.

Yes. When you buy an annuity, you can access up to 25% of your pension savings as tax-free cash.

Will your money be taxed?

No. Until you take money from you r pension you will not pay income tax and you may qualify for tax relief* on what you pay in.

Yes. The remaining three quarters will be treated as taxable income.* You may be charged emergency tax by HMRC initially.

Yes. Once you have used up your tax-free allowance, any money you draw will be treated as taxable income.*

Yes. The remaining three quarters will be treated as taxable income.* You may be charged emergency tax by HMRC initially.

Yes. The income from your annuity will be treated as taxable income.*

Are there income guarantees?

No. This will depend on the arrangements you make when you want to draw your pension.

No. If you take all your pension benefits as cash you will have to make suitable arrangements to support you in retirement.

No. You can top up your income when you need to, but you should check regularly to avoid running out of money.

No. You can top up your income when you need to, but you should check regularly to avoid running out of money.

Yes. An annuity is designed to provide a guaranteed income.

What happens after you die?

If you are under 75, your pot will be paid tax-free to your nominated beneficiary (like a loved one or a charity), subject to the usual checks. If you are over 75, it will be taxed based on the recipient's tax bracket.

When taken out of your pension, your savings will normally form part of your estate. Inheritance Tax may be payable by your beneficiaries when you die.

If you are under 75, your remaining pot will be paid tax-free to your nominated beneficiary (like a loved one or a charity), subject to the usual checks. If you are over 75, it will be taxed based on the recipient's tax bracket. When taken out of your pension, your savings will normally form part of your estate. Inheritance Tax may be payable by your beneficiaries when you die.

If you are under 75, your remaining pot will be paid tax-free to your nominated beneficiary (like a loved one or a charity), subject to the usual checks. If you are over 75, it will be taxed based on the recipient's tax bracket.

Your annuity payments will stop. Some annuities can be paid to dependants after you die if you choose this option. This usually means accepting a lower guaranteed income.

* Allowances, limits and tax bands are set by the Government and subject to annual review. All information provided is based on current legislation and HMRC rules, which are subject to change.

** You should understand the features and charges of other pensions first and seek professional financial advice if you're not sure. Check with your product provider before transferring as there may be a penalty for leaving their scheme.

Help with making the right decisions

Your retirement is one of the biggest decisions you will make, and your choices are very important. Your pension savings are there to provide an income for the rest of your life and spending them too quickly could mean you struggle later on.

If you’d like help understanding your options or want to talk through your choices with an impartial party, take a look at the services that can help on our Getting guidance and advice page.

Important information about pension investments and retirement:

  • The value of your investments may go down as well as up
  • As with all investments, you may not get back what you initially invested

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