Does this option meet your needs?

We don’t regularly think about the financial implications of getting older, such as the possibility of needing care or how long you’ll live for. But as you approach later life and need to make a decision about your retirement income, it is important to think ahead.

Only you know your financial circumstances – for example, whether loans or mortgages still need to be paid off and the sort of needs you may have later on.

On average people in the UK, aged 65 now are expected to live until*:

Average life expectancy - Women: 86; Men: 84

Work out your life expectancy with the Government's calculator here

Things to consider

Here are some things to consider. Think about which statement represents you most accurately, and see if taking your benefits from the RSA pension schemes is right for you:

Your RSA pension schemes benefits are your main or only source of retirement income

You may prefer to take your RSA pension schemes benefits if you:

  • Are reliant on a regular income for your retirement; and/or
  • Cannot afford to take risk; and/or
  • Appreciate the security and predictability of a set, regular income.

Or, you have other sources of retirement income in addition to your RSA pension schemes benefits

Instead of taking your benefits from the RSA pension schemes, you may prefer one of the other options if you:

  • Are not reliant on your RSA pension schemes benefits; and/or
  • Are able to afford to take more risk; and/or
  • Would prefer to tailor your income to your personal circumstances.

You prefer predictability

You know how much income you’ll receive, for the rest of your life. You also know how that income will increase over time, in line with the Scheme Rules.

Or, you prefer flexibility

  • Your RSA pension schemes pension does not give you flexibility to change your pension income and/or benefits to suit your personal circumstances, such as your health or marital status
  • Your only choice is whether to take a tax-free cash lump sum.

You prefer security

  • The RSA pension schemes will provide you with a secure, regular income for life
  • However, if for any reason your employer is no longer able to support the RSA pension schemes, your benefits may be protected by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Or, you prefer opportunity

Your pension income and benefits are fixed, based on the Scheme Rules, so there is no opportunity to grow them any further through investments.

You prioritise short-term income

  • While you have the option to exchange part of your RSA pension schemes benefits for a tax-free cash lump sum, you cannot access all of your pension income upfront
  • If you take a tax-free cash lump sum upfront, your long-term income will be lower to take this into account.

Or, you prioritise long-term income

  • You will receive a regular, secure income for the remainder of your life
  • Your RSA pension schemes benefits will increase throughout retirement, in line with the Scheme Rules.

You have a short life expectancy

  • If you (and your spouse or civil partner) die early, your RSA pension schemes benefits would be lost and your pension benefits would not normally be passed onto the next generation
  • If you have a diagnosed medical condition, smoke or have a poor lifestyle, this, and therefore any enhanced terms, will not be reflected in your pension income.

Or, you have a long life expectancy

Your RSA pension schemes benefits will provide you (or your spouse or civil partner, in the event of your death) with a steady income for life, and normally has some increases to protect it against inflation (defined in the Scheme Rules).

Tax

Tax-free cash lump sum

  • You can take some of your RSA pension schemes benefits as tax-free cash (usually up to 25% of the benefit value)
  • The amount of the tax-free cash lump sum depends on the terms offered by the RSA pension schemes.

Income (subject to tax)

  • Your annual income will be taxed at your marginal rate of income tax for that year
  • As your pension income is stable, you can expect to pay a similar level of tax each year (subject to any other income you have).

Meet Sally

For Sally and her husband Jim, looking forward to a predictable week is their idea of perfection. There’s always time for a movie on a Monday, a bit of fish ‘n’ chips on a Friday, and that ballroom dancing class that they’ve always wanted to take…

A pile of polaroid images

Sally prioritised…

Predictability

Sally liked knowing exactly how much she’d receive each month.

Security

She knew that her pension payments were not dependent on investment performance.

Long-term income

She took comfort knowing that her pension would be paid for the rest of her life.