Pension Unlocking or Early Pension Release can only happen to individuals who are aged 55 or over and have a UK pension they are not currently paying into or receiving; it doesn’t apply to The State Pension.

You can usually release up to 25% of the pension fund value as a Tax Free Cash Lump Sum (known as Pension Commencement Lump Sum). The balance of the pension fund left over MUST be used to provide an income although this doesn’t have to be taken at the same time as the lump sum; it can be taken at a later date.

The term Pension Unlocking is often used when people want to take money from their pension early. Obtaining cash from your pension in this way is for the most part not advisable. Pension fund proceeds, whether they have accrued via an occupational scheme or private pension, are intended to provide plan members with an income during their retirement so to unlock pension benefits early would usually reduce eventual retirement income.

In most cases it is simply because an individual has a financial problem, which they are unable to solve any other way apart from accessing their pension early. If they have savings or some other way of raising money, such as a loan or borrowing it from a family member or friend, then they should consider these options first. However, these options may not be feasible or even possible and there are some circumstances when pension release maybe more suitable, for example, the only loan they can get is being charged at 15% interest but the equivalent loss from their pension is 10%.

Whether you surrender pension benefits from an occupational pension scheme or personal pension you can still usually take a cash sum as well as income. The tax free cash sum is known as the Pension Commencement Lump Sum or PCLS.

The income you receive will depend on a number of factors such as; if the money comes from a personal pension or occupational scheme, if you are married or not. To a certain extent you have a little more choice about how the income can be paid from a private arrangement compared with an occupational scheme. There is also an option to unlock pension cash sums without the need to take immediate income.

Unlock pension benefits early from any type of scheme, you need to consider your options thoroughly, which is where firms like Grove can help.

It is important not to confuse this type of Pension Unlocking with Pension Liberation, which is completely different. Companies offering Pension Liberation usually tell you it is possible to release your pension BEFORE the age of 55 and that the entire fund can be taken as a Tax Free cash sum. In the words of The Financial Conduct Authority “There is a high chance these are scams trying to con you out of your money”.

Pension Unlocking or Early Pension Release is completely legitimate and will be conducted by firms that are Authorised and Regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and ones that use only HMRC approved products.

Simular Terms to Pension Unlocking?

The main terms that are used regularly to describe the release of pension proceeds prior to retirement age include Pension Unlocking, Pension Surrender, Cashing Pensions and Selling Pensions.

Pension Surrender; this is a peculiar term as surrendering is usually used in the context of not having a choice – you always have a choice in these matters and it it worth discussing your situation with an approved financial adviser before going through with the pension release process.

Selling Pensions; although it has entered common parlance, strictly speaking you are not able to sell your pension. Still, the term is often used when someone wants to take a lump sum of cash from their pension fund before retirement.

Cashing Pensions; Cashing pensions has an obvious root, the pension holder obtain cash lump sums from their pension funds and so are considered to have “cashed in” their pension as opposed to receiving payments on retirement.

Need Advice?

Why not Get Started today to receive your free pension freedom guide. If you read the guide and would like us to look into your pension options, then simply complete the Enquiry Form at the back of the guide and post it back to us via FREEPOST.

You are under no obligation to go ahead with any of our recommendations if you don’t want to.



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I looked around the internet for some time, all I looked at was very confusing to me. I then found Grove Financial and found it very easy to read and take in. I sent an email with a question to see the response. I had a perfect response in plain english. I was very happy to carry on with the excellent personal service.

Mr JB, Bristol

Thoroughly recommended, nothing to much trouble, always there to give advice, always dealt with the same person at all times. Very glad that I used this company.

Mrs JA, Queenborough

I found Grove to be very professional people and very knowledgeable. The way they dealt with my pension release was second to none.

Mr DH, Warrington

This was the best decision I have made. I cannot express how helpful Grove Pension Solutions were. They go the extra mile to ensure you receive the best service. Their staff are very knowledgeable, professional and friendly, not something other companies offer these days.

Ms JM, Glasgow

A very professional, yet friendly and personal service. I would strongly recommend your company to anyone interested in pension release. Many many thanks to all your staff for a service second to none.

Mr HFC, Belfast

Very helpful. Explained in detail, answered all my questions. Would recommend to family and friends. Excellent services.

Mr SS, Cheltenham

….what can I say. This company has been a breath of fresh air. I fully recommend any one considering any form of financial planning to contact Grove Pension Release. In plain English, those people are “NOT” cowboys. Thank you for all your help.

Mr EG, Bedford

I found the service very good, everything was explained in simple English, which made it easy to understand. The advisor was polite and very helpful.

Mrs SB, Selby

Grove Pension Release provided a very proficient service regarding my pensions review and pension release. My future pension needs have been fully reviewed and look forward to your support and working together in future years.

Mr RH, Witney


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