It’s generally understood that pension benefits can be accessed from age 55. But it’s important that advisers are aware of the Government’s proposals for minimum pension age increases, as well as the situations where clients may be able to take benefits early.

This module should take around 30 minutes to complete. It includes a short self-assessment quiz to test what you’ve learned. A 30 minutes CII/PFS accredited CPD certificate can be claimed.


On completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Confirm the normal minimum pension and the proposals for increases
  2. Explain who may be able to take pension benefits before the normal minimum pension age
  3. Describe the situations where a low protected age could be lost

Post learning assessment

Question 1

Which of the following would NOT be able to take pension benefits before age 55?

  1. Anne has been diagnosed with terminal cancer
  2. Michael has inherited his late wife’s pension pot
  3. Lorraine has a protected low pension age under her employer’s occupational scheme - she’s not retiring yet, but wants to take her tax free cash
  4. Peter set up a personal pension in 2003 when he became a professional footballer

Question 2

Mary’s pension scheme has a protected low pension age. Which of the following would result in her NOT being able to take benefits early?

  1. Transferring her benefits as part of a block transfer
  2. Transferring her benefits to another scheme which also has a protected low pension age
  3. Taking her pension benefits in stages (phasing)
  4. Transferring to an individual buyout contract on the wind-up of her employer’s scheme

Question 3

When the normal minimum pension age changes to age 57, which of the following statements will be TRUE for someone with a protected minimum pension age of 55?

  1. The protected pension age can be retained on transfer, even if it’s not a ‘block transfer’
  2. Funds transferred as part of a ‘block transfer’ will be ring-fenced and retain the protected pension age, but age 57 will apply to any funds relating to new funding
  3. The protected pension age is lost unless all benefits under the scheme are taken at the same time – no phasing
  4. A ‘block transfer’ will not protect the pension age if the individual has been a member of the receiving scheme for more than 12 months

Check your answers

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Any reference to legislation and tax is based on our understanding of United Kingdom law and HM Revenue & Customs practice at the date of production. These may be subject to change in the future. Tax rates and reliefs may be altered. The value of tax reliefs to the investor depends on their financial circumstances. No guarantees are given regarding the effectiveness of any arrangements entered into on the basis of these comments.