Pension Release for Over 55's

Release up to 25% of your pension fund tax free

If you are over the age of 55, you can access up to 25% of your total pension fund as a tax free, cash lump sum. You can do this legitimately within the pension regulations and this money is yours to do with as you wish.

For many people, the decision to unlock their pension is a straightforward financial one. Popular reasons amongst our clients include a desire to clear their mortgage or outstanding credit card debt before they retire. Others use their money to avoid taking out an expensive loan to cover unexpected expenses such as household repairs. This can be seen as wise financial planning as there is little point in paying more interest on your debt than you are gaining through your savings.

Did the 2014 Budget change anything?

The changes to the pension rules announced in April 2014 by George Osborne almost certainly made income drawdown (the mechanism we use for pension release) more attractive for more people. Currently the rules around the 25% tax free cash element and being able to take this money at 55 haven't changed, although they may in the future.

There has also been a lot of talk about people being able to take their entire pension pot at 55, although few have mentioned the tax implications of doing this. You could lose a lot of money to the government depending on your tax situation as this is seen as income by HMRC. The first 25% can be taken entirely tax free however and we can advise you on what's best for your circumstances.

What can I do with the money I release?

That's entirely up to you. It's your money so you can use it as you wish and, as it isn't a loan, there are no repayments to worry about. This is money that you have been saving for your retirement, though, so there should be a good reason for you accessing it early.

Pension Release

What types of Pension can be released?

  • Private Pensions
  • Company Pensions
  • Final Salary Pensions
  • Old Company or Personal Pensions

Please note: The state pension cannot be released.

Please also note that from April 2015, unfunded government defined benefit schemes will not be able to transfer and will therefore no longer be eligible for pension release.

Not sure whether your pension is suitable? Call us and we can check. 

What to do next:

To ask us a question or to find out how your current pension is performing and what you can do about it then please either call us or complete our simple enquiry form and one of our advisers will call you back.

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Pension Release Explained

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Benefits of Pension Release through Portal Financial

  • Free, No Obligation Pension Health Check
  • Impartial advice right through to final execution
  • Release up to 25% of your pension - TAX FREE
  • No monthly repayments - this isn't a loan, it is your money already
  • Flexibility - choose how you receive your money, and how you spend it
  • Friendly efficient service - we make the process easy for you

Releasing your pension benefits early could reduce your income at retirement and therefore is only suitable for a limited number of people and circumstances.

Additional Information on Pension Release for Over 55s

What will you get from Portal Financial?

In the first instance, free no-obligation advice from the Pension Release and Income Drawdown experts.

Once we have obtained your pension details (with your permission) and have discussed your situation in more detail with you we will then explain the options you have and our recommendations for your particular circumstance. We will show you how much money you can release and how best to use the remaining money for an income, as well as advising on you on how to grow your pension fund again should you wish to.

Portal Financial are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to advise on all aspects of pensions, including Pension Release for over 55's.

Am I eligible for pension release?

To be eligible for to release fund from your pension you must:

  • be over 55
  • have funds in a pension that you are not currently receiving any income from
  • have a suitable personal or occupational pension that is based in the UK

It is not possible to release funds from a state pension.

Can I release my pension before I am 55?

If you are under the age of 55 then it is almost certain that you will not be eligible for pension release within the pension regulations. Only extreme circumstances, such as having a terminal illness, could change this position. In these cases you would need to contact your pension provider directly.

Be very wary of any company that suggests it can release money for you under the age of 55. This is very likely to be pension liberation fraud. Companies advertising this kind of service often suggest that you can take advantage of 'legal loopholes' that they will use to help you to release your pension before you turn 55. There are no such legal loopholes and taking part in one of these pension liberation schemes can leave you owing the tax man a substantial amount of money. You could even be left with nothing to show from your pension pot at all.

Do I have to be retired to release my pension?

No, you do not need to be retired to release your pension. Pension release is a term used when you take the 25% tax free cash element of your pension before your normal retirement age. You must be aged 55 or over and have a suitable pension, but you do not need to retire.

In fact, it is perfectly possible to release funds from your pension, continue to work and continue to contribute to your pension and in doing do gain further tax relief on your contributions. You cannot recycle your tax free cash back into your pension to gain additional tax relief however.

How much of my pension can I release?

The exact amount will, of course, be determined by the value of your pension fund. However, the percentage that you can take tax free is 25%. This is the total tax free entitlement for your pension but you don't have to take the entire 25% immediately.

For our clients we tend to only consider pension release for those with £30,000 or more in their pensions, although there have been exceptions.

Something to bear in mind if your are aged 60 or over and all of your pensions' combined value is less than £30,000 is something called 'trivial commutation', whereby you can take your entire pension as a lump sum with the first 25% being tax free. Under the April 2015 proposals 'trivial commutation' is effectively superceded by the new income drawdown rules.

What if I want to take an income as well as tax free cash?

We can of course help you to do that and can advise on which of the options is best. The most common options are to either purchase an annuity or use income drawdown and both have their pros and cons. We normally use income drawdown as a vehicle to facilitate pension release, with the client most often not taking any income at this stage. It very much depends on your particular circumstances though and that is why our free no-obligation pension review is such an important part of the advice process.

How do I release money from my pension?

To enable you to unlock your pension, you might be required to transfer it out of your existing scheme and into a new more flexible personal pension plan that is set up to enable income drawdown. Should this be the case, our advice will take into consideration any possible exit charges or loss of benefits, such as death benefits or cash sums on retirement that some company 'final salary' pensions provide.

If you are interested in pension release, the first step in the process is to fill in a brief form that gives your authority to your existing provider to give us the information we need in order to review your pension. We will conduct a free no-obligation pension review, looking in detail at your current pension, and we will discuss with you your personal circumstances, your goals and your attitude to risk.

We will then provide our expert FCA regulated advice in the form of a clear report that details your current situation and our recommendations for what you should do next. If we believe you are best off staying with your current provider then we will tell you. Our friendly advisers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have at any stage of the process.

Once you have received our report then if you decide to go ahead with our recommendations we will make all the arrangements on your behalf. Any charges involved at this stage will have been detailed in our report before you have to make any decision. If you decide not to act then the whole process will have cost you nothing.

Is pension release legal?

Yes, pension release is entirely legal as long as you meet the government's criteria. The crucial things to remember are that you must be aged over 55 and have a private or company pension that you are not currently drawing an income from.

Please note that from April 2015, unfunded government defined benefit schemes will not be able to transfer and will therefore no longer be eligible for pension release.

Remember, releasing funds from your pension early could leave you with less money when it comes to retirement. As such, choosing to unlock your pension is not a decision to be made lightly and you should always seek financial advice before making such a decision.

Portal Financial is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide advice on all aspects of pensions. We are here to make sure you are provided with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Call 0845 500 0706 for a friendly chat about your pension

Enquire About Pension Release Online

Please complete our short enquiry form to the top right of this page and one of our friendly advisers will contact you:-


Call 0845 500 0706 for a friendly chat about your pension


Enquire now

Please either call us or complete the form below and one of our advisors will call you back.

Please note that you cannot release funds from a State Pension.

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What our customers say

“I am very impressed with Portal Financial. They were efficient and informative and I would be more than happy to recommend them to anyone.”

R. Eden


“The pension release product with Portal Financial allowed me to make a real difference to my life when it was needed.”

D. Sanders


“I am really impressed with the way you have dealt with things for me.”

A. Willis


“The service I received was first class and there was no stress involved, because I was always made aware every step of the way. It was a pleasure to deal with Portal Financial and a real weight off my mind to get it all sorted quickly and efficiently”

A. Adler


“The staff were absolutely brilliant. If they said they’d ring you back, they always rang back on time and there was never any bother at all.”

K. Rodgerson


“I chose the Portal Financial product as the staff were very helpful and informative.  At no time did I feel under any pressure to proceed.  It was a very stress-free process.”

A. Short


“I was absolutely delighted to discover Portal Financial.  Their service was excellent and I was really pleased to find a business that could help me so quickly and efficiently. I now feel my finances are much better balanced thanks to their good advice, and I would not hesitate to recommend them to a friend or member of my family.”

W. Hewitt