The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
As a general rule, members of registered pension schemes can only start receiving their pension benefits from such schemes from age 55 (prior to 6 April 2010, from age 50) unless they satisfy the ill-health condition. As a second general rule, members of registered pension schemes are only able to take up to 25% of the value of their accrued pensions savings (subject to the lifetime allowance) as tax-free cash.
There are, however, certain individuals who are exceptions to these general rules and who are able (subject to the rules of their particular schemes) to:Finance Act 2004, Sch 36, paras 21–23Registered Pension Schemes (Prescribed Schemes and Occupations) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/3451
claim their benefits before age 55—they are said to have a ‘protected minimum pension age’. For more information, see Practice Note: Normal minimum pension age and protected pension age—What is a protected pension age? or
take more than 25% of the value of their pension savings in the form of tax-free cash—they enjoy ‘scheme specific lump sum protection’. For more information, see Practice Note: Pension commencement lump sums (PCLSs)—Protection of pre A-day rights to tax-free lump sums
Such individuals typically were in prescribed occupations prior to the introduction of the registered pension scheme regime on 6 April 2006 (A-Day) or otherwise satisfied prescribed conditions immediately prior to 6 April 2010 which permitted them to continue to enjoy their favoured rights as regards minimum pension age and/or tax-free cash after A-Day and/or 6 April 2010.
Such protections can be valuable; however, rights to such protections can be lost if accrued benefit rights are transferred from one pension arrangement to another unless certain
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