No. You need to be aged 55 in order to access your pension savings. This is a legal requirement set down by government to make sure that pension funds are used to support you in later life.
Once you’ve reached age 55 you can access your pension at any time, even if you specified a later retirement age when you originally started your plan.
For NOW: Pensions members the only exception to this rule is if you’re seriously or terminally ill and you’re totally unable to work as a result of your illness. If you find yourself in this situation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk to you about your options. You don’t need to use a third-party pension release company to arrange this.
You may have some older pensions where the scheme started before 6 April 2006 which offered earlier retirement to particular occupations, like professional sports, where this was commonplace. This doesn’t apply at NOW: Pensions, but if you have other pension plans then you might like to contact the pension provider to see if they have this provision.
You can also transfer your pension savings to another suitable pension provider. However, they will not be able to give you access to your money any sooner than we’re allowed to.
Transferring out of a pension is a big decision. For free and impartial guidance about your pension savings, please visit or contact:
- Pension Wise, pensionwise.gov.uk or call 0800 138 3944 to book a phone or face-to-face appointment.
- Pension Advisory Service, pensionadvisoryservice.org.uk or call 0300 011 3797.
These services will provide you with information, but not advice.
Before you make any decision about transferring your pension savings, we recommend you take independent financial advice. The adviser will need to be authorised to give advice on pension transfers. If you need help finding a financial adviser, visit www.unbiased.co.uk. You might have to pay for professional advice.
Watch out for pension scams
Anyone who tells you that they can get you access to your pension before age 55, other than in the serious ill health case mentioned above, will be a pension scam and not authorised by The Pensions Regulator or the Financial Conduct Authority.
There has been an increase in scams since the Coronavirus, as savers may be looking to transfer pension savings while markets are unstable. Victims of pension scammers are likely to lose all of their money.