Pension wise

Pension wise

Pensions have now changed, giving you more freedom to decide what to do with your pension pot(s). Pension Wise is a new FREE government service that will help you go through your options so you can make informed and confident decisions that are best for you and your family.

What are the different types of pension?

A defined contribution pension is where you build up a pot of money based on how much money you and possibly your employers have put into it. What you'll get back will depend on the amount you put into it, how long the money's invested and how well any investments have done. This is not a defined benefit pension.

A defined benefit pension is a type of workplace pension. It gives you an income based upon your salary and length of time with your employer. The amount is calculated under the rules of your pension scheme.

The pension you get from the government is called the state pension and you get it when you reach state pension age.

How do I get help?

You can get further information and guidance:

Or, if you prefer to speak to someone, you can talk to an impartial guidance specialist on the phone or face to face. Citizens Advice is providing the face to face service for Pension Wise.

  • To make an appointment call the Pensions Advisory Service on:

    0300 330 1001

Is Pension Wise for me?

A Pension Wise appointment may help if you:

  • Are approaching retirement and aged 50 or over;
  • Have a defined contribution pension pot(s);
  • Are thinking of accessing your pension pot(s) and want to know more information before making any decisions;
  • Have not had a guidance appointment before.

What will my appointment cover?

Your appointment will last about 45 minutes. Your trained guidance specialist will explain:

  • what you can do with your pension pot(s) and the different options you have;
  • other things you need to consider including tax and benefits;
  • the key points for each option, taking into account your circumstances;
  • practical next steps and things to think about before you decide what to do;
  • how you can shop around to get the best deal and avoid pension scams.

Pension Wise provides impartial guidance, not regulated financial advice.

It won't recommend any products or tell you what to do with your money.

Do I need to prepare for my appointment?

You will get the most out of your appointment if you:

  • know the value of your pension pot(s) and any special arrangements attached to it;
  • have a state pension forecast;
  • have thought about your plans for retirement;
  • have thought about your financial circumstances more generally along with the health of you and your family.

Next Steps

After your appointment, you will receive a summary of what you discussed along with suggested next steps.

These may include:

  • talking to your pension provider about questions you may have;
  • speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser;
  • having follow-up appointments with organisations like Citizens Advice for advice on things like debt, benefits, housing or employment;
  • places where you can get further information.