What is income drawdown?
Using pension drawdown to take a flexible income
Income drawdown is one option for those in or approaching retirement to take a flexible income from their pension fund. With the new flexi-access drawdown your pension remains invested when you reach retirement, and you have total control over how much money you withdraw and how often you take it. This gives you more flexibility than a traditional annuity, but without the security of a guaranteed income.
Who is eligible for flexi-access drawdown?
Under the pension changes that came into effect in April 2015, the old capped and flexible drawdown have been replaced by flexi-access drawdown. This new type of flexible drawdown gives you total freedom to access your pension at retirement with no minimum income requirements, but you will need a pension with a provider that allows it. Our Best SIPP gives you the option to take an income through flexi-access drawdown, and we’ve recently announced new lower pricing too.
What else has changed for income drawdown in 2015?
The pros and cons of income drawdown
There are a number of pros and cons to consider before committing to income drawdown. One advantage is that you have total flexibility over how much money you draw from your pension, and can therefore control your tax liability. You are also able to increase or decrease the amount of income you draw from your pension in line with any changes to your retirement lifestyle.
However, unlike an annuity your level and duration of income is not guaranteed. The performance of the investments held within your SIPP or other pension can rise or fall in value, and too many early withdrawals can also mean a shortfall later in retirement. Plus, not all pension providers offer flexi-access drawdown as an option so you may need to check this if you are looking for a flexible income.
Download one of our free pension guides
The decision to access your pension is an important one and will affect your income and possibly your standard of living for years to come. Therefore we recommend that before any decision is made you receive regulated financial advice or get free guidance from Pension Wise. Find out more about Pension Wise.