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Drawing Money From A Pension Before Retirement

Thanks to rules introduced in April 2015, you now have far greater freedom to release money from your pension fund when you want to. Many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to cash in a pension before 55 for a whole variety of reasons.

Raising some additional cash to make ends meet, paying off some high-interest debts or reinvesting in the property market are just three of the many reasons that more and more people are choosing pension release as a way of taking better control of their finances.

What is involved?

Releasing equity from your pension pot is usually easy, even if you do so before retirement. However, there are potential tax implications, particularly if you are looking to release some or all your pension before the age of 55. It also depends on the type of pension plan you have in place and what, if any, penalties you might incur.

That is why it is important to take impartial advice from a member of our knowledgeable and experienced team. There are a number of unscrupulous traders in the market, but at Sell Pension we only deal with the best professionals in the business.

The first step is to contact us, and a member of our team will be pleased to carry out a free pension review to help you decide on the best route forward.

How much cash can I release?

In most cases, you are entitled to release as much or as little as you wish. The first 25% will be tax-free, and anything over and above that will be taxed at your highest rate, by adding it to your existing income.

There are a large numbers of factors to consider when deciding how much cash to release. These include the size and type of pension you have, your age and whether you are planning on releasing cash before retirement or after, what other income you have available, whether you have any debts, and a whole range of other considerations.

What are the advantages of releasing a pension before retirement?

It is no secret that today’s pension funds are facing problems. Some of the biggest schemes, including Tesco, the Post Office and Marks & Spencer are facing cuts that could cost individual members hundreds of thousands of pounds each over the course of their retirement.

By cashing in your pension, you can take control of your retirement plans by making better use of your hard-earned funds. For example, a growing number of people are finding far better returns by investing in the property market.

Alternatively, if you are one of the thousands of people paying interest on debt repayments, it makes no sense to continue doing so while you have money earning half as much in a pension scheme.

Are there disadvantages?

There are pros and cons to every choice, which is why it is so important to take expert advice.

If you choose to unlock your pension before retirement, the funds you release will no longer be there to provide a regular income when you retire – or for your spouse after you die.

This is why so many people choose to only release a portion of their pension fund. Alternatively, where families have more than one pension, it might make sense to release one before retirement and leave the other intact to provide a future income, thereby spreading the risk and getting the best of both worlds.

There are also tax implications to consider. If your income is average or above, then releasing more than 25% of your pension pot could well push you into a higher income tax band.

Even if you are on a below average income, there could still be other potential consequences that you need to consider. For example, the additional income could affect your entitlement to certain means-tested government benefits and allowances.

Our expert advisors can give advice on the options in your specific case and will help you to understand what is right for you.

I am under 55. Can I still cash in my pension?

Even if you are under 55, it is still possible to release money from your pension. You could, however, face a higher tax bill for doing so.

There are some circumstances in which under-55s can release equity from their pension plan without incurring these additional costs, for example if they are in ill health or have permanently retired.

Even if you do not fit into these categories, it might still make the most financial sense to “bite the bullet” and cash in your pension, if it can lead to savings that outweigh the additional tax liabilities. Our team of experts can examine your circumstances and help you weigh up the options.

What else is there to bear in mind?

None of us like to think about our own mortality, but at the same time, we want to know that our dependants and loved ones will be provided for after we are gone. Money in a pension fund is not usually liable for Inheritance Tax, whereas any cash or investments released from the fund will count as part of your estate.

You might also want to continue contributing to your pension after you have withdrawn some cash, particularly if you have done so before retirement. This is possible, but there are potential tax implications here too. If you cash in £10,000 or more, the amount of pension savings on which you can get tax relief is reduced from £40,000 to £10,000.

What should I do?

You have put years of work and effort into accumulating your pension fund, so make sure you take expert advice and carefully think through all the possible options. By contacting us today, you can take the first step in making your hard-earned money work better for you, your family and your future.

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