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Retirement options for DC members

Your staff may ask you for advice when making important choices about their retirement.

Although employers are not legally obliged to provide access to financial advice on retirement, you may choose to provide your staff with access to advice, or help with the cost of seeking advice.

Key points

  • The people running your pension scheme need to give your pension scheme members information about their retirement options, and tell them where they can go for further independent retirement advice.

Thinking about retiring

Most defined contribution (DC) pension schemes write to their members up to five years before they expect them to retire. Your staff can check their possible retirement income on the MoneyHelper website and request an estimate of their State Pension on the GOV.UK website.

If your staff are trying to track down a previous workplace pension they can contact the Pension Tracing Service – a free, government service on the GOV.UK website to help find lost pensions.

Retirement options and decisions

Your pension scheme must send members information about their options and the decisions they need to make. This includes telling members about Pension Wise, the government’s free and impartial service that will help them understand their choices.

The member will need to decide:

  • whether they want to retire now or later
  • which of the retirement options they want to choose
  • what to do if they only have a small pension pot
  • what to do if they have more than one pension pot

Retirement options

Members of your scheme are likely to have different options for their pension pot, either available directly from the scheme or on transfer to a different scheme. They can:

  • keep their pension pot where it is
  • get a guaranteed income for life (known as an 'annuity')
  • get a flexible retirement income (known as 'flexi-access drawdown')
  • take their pension pot as a number of lump sums at different times
  • take their whole pension pot in one go
  • choose more than one option and mix them

For more information, see guidance on options for using your DC pension on the MoneyHelper website.

Further advice for your staff

To find a retirement adviser, use the MoneyHelper retirement adviser directory.

Direct your staff to information on how to avoid pension scams.