Deferring your income in retirement
Is it a good idea to put off retirement, and not access your pensions straight away? It could be, but it will depend on a number of factors, from whether you can or want to continue working, to how much you've saved and how much you will need in retirement.
Do I have to take my pension straight away?
You'll have chosen a date on which your private pension matures, and the provider looking after those funds – be it a workplace pension or a private pension provider – will use that date to work out examples of how much income you'll get. But there are no reasons why you have to start taking that income there and then.
Since April 2015, you've had a range of options available for when you decide you want to start using your pension savings - whether that means choosing a guaranteed income for life or using income drawdown to generate an income. Each of the options need to be considered against a number of factors, so to find out more take a look at the options available.
What about my State Pension – can I defer that too?
Yes, we explain how to do that and how beneficial it can be on our State Pension page.
So is it a good idea to defer my retirement?
If you do leave your pension pot invested, you'll have more time to add further contributions. And the level of income you can hope to secure is likely to be greater. However, you have to offset this with the income you would have received over the time you have deferred, so it's not always a straightforward calculation. If you have pension savings, it might therefore be worth spending some time with a financial adviser to help you work out the numbers. If you don't have one, you could go to thepfs.org or unbiased.co.uk.
How do I know if this is the right thing to do?
The government offers free and impartial guidance about your defined contribution pension options through Pension Wise. It's designed to help you make sense of the implications of any decisions you make. In 2020/21 Pension Wise will be absorbed into the new Money and Pension Service (MaPS). MaPS is an arm's-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and established in 2019. With a decision this big though, it's also worth thinking about taking financial advice. Although there's usually a cost attached, good advice can help you make the right decisions for your circumstances.
Alternatively, HUB Financial Solutions – part of the Just Group – offers an annuity comparison service that could help you make sense of your options.