The following Pensions practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Since 6 April 2015, members are allowed to access ‘flexible benefits' (defined below) from normal minimum pension age, without restriction. There is no longer any obligation to purchase a lifetime annuity and members can access their pension pot by way of drawdown or one or more uncrystallised funds pension lump sums (UFPLSs). This is subject to the member's marginal income tax rate, although the member continues to benefit from a 25% tax-free lump sum. The government's aim in making these changes was to give members greater control over their finances and draw their pensions as they see fit. For more information, see Practice Note: Pension freedoms—an introduction.
To ensure that members with flexible benefits have sufficient information to make informed decisions about how to access their pension pot, with effect from 6 April 2015 changes were made to legislation and to the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Handbook so as to require trustees, managers and providers of occupational and personal pension schemes to give retiring members with flexible benefits certain information as they near retirement, namely:
information on the retirement options available to access their flexible benefits
information about the availability of free, impartial pensions guidance through MoneyHelper (commonly known as Pension Wise guidance) to help them make a decision about their
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