Your options at retirement

If you're 55 or over, now could be the time to take your retirement savings

There are different ways you can take your money. You don't have to choose one option – it could be that a mix of options might suit you – and with the right information, you're in control of when and how you take your money. We're here to help you understand your options so you can take the next step to the future you'll love.

Pension early exit charge cap announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority

The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that a cap will be introduced from 31 March 2017 limiting the exit charges that can be taken from a pension plan for customers over 55. If you hold a pension with Zurich, you’re 55 or older and your plan has such a charge then this announcement may affect you.
Find out more

Do you have a final salary pension or public sector scheme?

If some or all of your retirement savings are in a final salary scheme (sometimes called a defined benefit pension), or public sector scheme, then speak to your pension scheme contact to find out about these and your retirement options – the retirement options on this website do not cover these types of retirement savings.

Already in drawdown?

The retirement options explained on this website are available for retirement savings not already in drawdown. If you do have any retirement savings in drawdown, you still have several options.

Tax and law

You'll see a lot of information about tax and law on this website. We've based this on our understanding of current UK law and HM Revenue and Customs practice as at 6 April 2015. Bear in mind, any changes to these rules, or to your personal circumstances, could affect what you get from your retirement savings.

Ways to take your retirement savings

You can take up to 25% of your retirement savings as tax-free cash

Take a look at the options below, each of which usually allows you to take tax-free cash.


A lifelong, regular income

As well as taking tax-free cash, you can buy an annuity, using some or all of your retirement savings to secure a regular taxable income payable for life.

More about annuities


A flexible income you can change to match your needs

In addition to taking tax-free cash, drawdown lets you take a regular flexible taxable income you can increase or decrease, or take one-off withdrawals. Or you can simply take your tax-free cash and leave the rest invested until you need it in the future.

More about drawdown


A cash lump sum

You can take your retirement savings as a single cash lump sum or you can take small cash lump sums – it's up to you. The first 25% of each cash lump sum you take is tax free. The remainder is taxable.

More about taking cash

Leave it for now and decide later

If you don't need to use your retirement savings at the moment, you can leave them invested until you do.

Leave it for now

Compare your options at a glance

What do you want to do?


(A lifelong regular income)


(take a flexible income and withdrawals)

Cash lump sums


Take tax-free cash with an income
Take tax-free cash with no income
Take taxable cash lump sums
Get the security of a lifelong income
Change my regular income as and when I choose
Manage my retirement savings myself
Option to automatically protect my income against inflation

What next?

Choosing a retirement option is an important decision and it makes sense to read the information on this website and seek financial advice or free and impartial guidance from Pension Wise before you make a decision.
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We can:

  • help you find a financial adviser who can provide you with financial advice
  • provide you with more information about the retirement choices and how they work

Whatever you want to do next, we can help.

Pension wise

Free, impartial, government service

Pension wise
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