Skip Header

Flexible retirement income

It’s hard to know what you’ll be doing in the future, so picking a retirement income to last a decade or two (and hopefully even longer) isn’t easy. Flexible retirement income (pension drawdown) lets you take whatever income you want – and change it when you need to.

Flexible income at a glance

The facts Advantages Disadvantages
You can normally take up to 25% of any funds as a tax free lump sum, as long as this amount is not higher than your remaining lump sum allowance. You can take it at any point from age 55 (57 from 2028). Any cash you take reduces the amount of income you could receive.
The rest of your money stays invested, and you can take withdrawals at any time. Flexibility of taking money when you need it and making further contributions if you wish. All income is taxed the same as any earnings you have. You should ensure you understand what tax rates might apply to you.
You need to consider how long you will need an income for, as you could live 20 years or more in retirement. If you invest your money carefully and regularly review how any income is reducing your pension pot, you can ensure that your money lasts as long as possible. You could run out of money if you take too much income from your pension pot.
You need to decide which funds your pension pot is invested in as the performance of any funds will affect how long any income will last. You can choose where to invest your pension to meet your needs. Your pension pot could go down dramatically if you don’t regularly monitor how your funds are performing.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.

Achieving a sustainable income

Will your money last as long as you need it to?

People are living longer and choosing to spend their retirement in many different ways. So if you’re thinking about flexible income, you should:

  • Be aware of the amount in your pension and the value of any other investments, savings and income you have.
  • Monitor the amount you take out of your pension and how it affects the value of your remaining savings.
  • Think carefully about the way you invest your money. You have a wide range of funds to choose from. If you have a Pension Drawdown Account, you may have access to four Investment Pathways, each of which is based on a different retirement income objective. 

Whichever method you use to take an income, it’s important you plan carefully so you don’t run out of money. You need to think about the different types of fund choices that will support the way you draw down your pension.

Remember that regardless of which funds you choose the value of those investments and the income from them can go down as well as up. This information is not a personal recommendation. If you are in any doubt whether flexible income is suitable for your circumstances we recommend that you seek advice from an authorised financial adviser. The minimum age you can normally access your pension savings is currently 55, and is due to rise to 57 on 6 April 2028, unless you have a lower protected pension age.

Changing your flexible retirement income arrangements

The advantage of flexible retirement income is that you can manage your money as your needs change over time. You can change the funds you’ve invested in, how much and how often you choose to withdraw, and even change your provider.

Making income withdrawals
Taking regular income payments

Our Workplace Investing Service Centre can explain what retirement income options are available within your existing pension plan and which are not. They can also refer you to our team of Workplace Investing Service Centre.

Find out more

Need some help?

Workplace Investing Service Centre

If you’re unsure about any of your options and would like to find out more about your workplace pension with Fidelity, please login or call the Workplace Investing Service Centre on

Pension Wise

The government's Pension Wise service offers free, impartial guidance to help you understand your options at retirement. You can access the guidance online at or over the phone