RPSM08200020 - Member Pages: Pension age: When can I take my benefits?

When can I take my benefits?

HMRC rules state that you are unable to take your pension scheme benefits from a registered pension scheme until you reach the normal minimum pension age. The normal minimum pension age is determined in the legislation for registered pension schemes and is


  • before 6 April 2010 – age 50
  • on or after 6 April 2010 – age 55

However, although these are the minimum ages according to HMRC legislation the rules of your own scheme will state the age applicable to you. It could be higher than the ages set out above.

If your scheme does not adopt a normal minimum pension age of 55 by 6 April 2010 and pays benefits out to you before that age, then they will be making an “unauthorised” payment to you with consequential tax implications.

If you started to take benefits after reaching the normal minimum pension age of 50 before 6 April 2010 but you are not yet age 55 by 6 April 2010 those benefits can continue to be paid as authorised payments. If you want to crystallise further benefits after 5 April 2010, to be authorised payments you must have reached the normal minimum pension age of 55.

There are separate rules if you want to retire through ill-health (see RPSM08200070) or if you were in a pension scheme before 6 April 2006 which had a low retirement age because of your particular profession (for example professional sports people or those in hazardous occupations) (see RPSM08200060).


Glossary ( RPSM20000000)