Approaching retirement checklist

To help you make those all-important choices about your pension in the run up to your retirement here are 10 things you should consider.

1. Keep track of all your pensions

If you have changed jobs you may have lost track of old pension schemes - you can use the Government’s pension tracing service to help track lost pensions or call 0345 6002 537

2. Check when you can access your pensions

You can start accessing your SIPP from age 55 (57 from 2028). Other pensions such as defined benefit or final salary schemes may not allow you to access them until you are older.

3. Get valuations on all your pensions

If the total value of your pensions is less than you would like, you can boost this by making contributions.

4. Check for any guarantees

You may have a defined benefit scheme that will pay you a set amount each year, or have personal pensions with guaranteed annuity rates or a guaranteed minimum pension element.

5. Get a state pension forecast

You can apply online or by calling 0345 3000 168

6. Consider your other investments and savings

Get valuations for your other assets such as ISAs, investments and savings. Can you use these to support you in your retirement?

7. Think about how much income you need

The citizens advice bureau budgeting tool can help you calculate your income needs

8. Look at the different options to access your pension

You can shop around to find the best provider for accessing your pension. If you want a guaranteed income, you can buy an annuity. Or if you'd prefer, you can take lump sums and/or income from your pension fund. Our guide to accessing your pension explains the different options.

9. Look at how your pension is invested

As you near your retirement date you may want to consider how your pension funds are invested, and whether this is still appropriate for your attitude to risk. If you are thinking of taking out a lump sum or purchasing an annuity you will need to cash in your investments to do so. You may want to consider moving your investments into lower-risk assets gradually in the period leading up to your intended retirement date so you are not cashing in all your investments at the same time. If you intend to leave your funds invested and take an income you may want to consider moving into income producing investments.

10. Seek professional advice or guidance

How you access your pension is an important decision, and we strongly recommend you take advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser. The Government’s free guidance service Pension Wise can help you understand your options. If you choose not to consult a financial adviser, we recommend you contact Pension Wise before making any decisions about how to access your pension.

Watch out for pension scams

AJ Bell Youinvest -

Be aware if you are approached by email, phone, text or in person about withdrawing your pension pot.

Find out more

Visit our help page or speak to one of our friendly experts by using our live chat service.

Begin web chat

Consolidate your pensions into a SIPP

Find out more

Find our more about your options at retirement with our guide to accessing your pension

Consolidate your pensions into a SIPP

Find out more

Guide to accessing your pension