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Your FAQs on Pension Release


About Pension Release

What is Pension Release or Pension Unlocking?

If you are over 55 you can legally access up to 25% of the money in your pension scheme – tax free! Pension Release, or pension unlocking is the early release of your funds. Pension release for over 55s is government backed by Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) should things go wrong.

What is the minimum pension fund eligible for this scheme?

We work with pensions from over £25,000, or if you have multiple pensions amounting to £25,000. These pensions are backed by government for a 25% tax free release, so nothing can go wrong.

What Sort Of Pension Scheme Is Eligible?

All pensions listed below are eligible for pension release:

Personal Protected Rights, Retirement Annuity Contracts (old style), Stakeholder, Executive, Company and Section 32 Buy-Out Bonds.

Unfortunately, State Pensions are not eligible for pension release

How will this affect my state benefits?

Our advice to you would be establish your favoured pension release option and then check with your local benefits office in regards to your proceedings as there are several variables which will potentially affect your state benefit, which will be difficult to predict before getting in touch.

Will I need to pay interest on the released funds?

If you are over 55 you can legally access your pension scheme – tax free!

Will I need to be retired before I can consider the scheme?

You can release funds prior to your retirement however this is normally due to poor health or other special situations. We do not recommend employed members of occupational pension schemes to consider Pension Release as this could leave you with less than you need when you reach retirement age. If you’re 55 or over you can legally access the money in your pension schemes(s) and backed by the government to receive up to 25% of this tax free.

Is pension release subject to extra tax?

Lump sum releases are tax free up to 25%. In other word, 25% of your pension release fund can be taken tax free.  

Ongoing income from pensions however will be taxed at the basic or highest tax rate subject to your overall income level.

How will this affect my pension death benefits?

As with state benefits, our advice to you would be establish your favored pension release option and then check with your death benefits office in regards to your proceedings, this will be the best way to determine the effects as the pension release policy that you chose will determine if there will be any changes to your death benefits.

Is pension release subject to extra tax?

Lump sum releases are tax free up to 25%. In other word, 25% of your pension release fund can be taken tax free.  

Ongoing income from pensions however will be taxed at the basic or highest tax rate subject to your overall income level.

Are the any other important factors to consider?


Releasing funds from your pension early will reduce your pension income in retirement and may not be suitable for your circumstances so it is important to obtain legal advice before doing so. 


The second is that if not done legally, releasing funds may incur penalties. Our recommended FCA consultants will present you with a completely transparent recommendations providing pension release advice on penalties, fees and charges so that both parties are aware of how to avoid any penalties.

About You

Who is eligible for pension release?

To release your pension tax free you must be:

  • Aged over 55 years
  • NOT taking income from a pension
  • Total pension fund(s) is £25,000 or above
  • Personal pension or company pension (not state pension)
  • Your pension fund(s) are from UK pension providers
  • You are looking to raise a cash lump sum, an income or both
How much can I release from my pension?

After our initial consultations we will contact pension providers on your behalf to find the best pension valuation, the higher the valuation the more you can release. Through long running relationships with FCA pension release companies we have ensured that we get the most competitive rates due to the amount of people we refer. Pension release is delivered in a lump sum, an income, or as both.  To obtain the valuation we need your permission on a signed Letter of Authority, which we will send to you when you complete the online Pension Release Enquiry Form.

The standard maximum tax free cash lump sum is 25% of a pension fund, however this could be increased by drawing down a single payment avoiding an ongoing regular income and the extra funds would be taxable. When we evaluate your pension we will establish if this is a suitable option for you.

Will Someone Come See Me?

For us, communication is key to developing a successful client referral as there are a multiple of complex options to discuss. We will be in touch over phone and email and where possible you can visit us in Leeds or one of our national team members can visit you at home or work. We do not charge for this service so there is nothing to lose in contacting us.

About Us

Who are The Pension Release Service?

We offer services covering pensions release, pension unlocking and equity release.  We only use pension providers who are UK based and Financial Conduct Authority regulated (FCA), which means you are protected under UK financial law.

Our consultations have the goal of successfully matching you with a suitable person or company whose services are designed to meet your needs; you will be provided with clear information and appropriately informed during and after the process; the advice we offer you is suitable and takes account of your circumstances; the products we provide perform and have acceptable standards to our recommendation; we continue to support you should you wish to change product, provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

What is the benefit to me of a pension release service?

Many financial advisers are limited to offering products or services related to the company that they work for.

We are wholly independent which means we’re not limited to any one financial advisor which means you can enjoy the option of choice as we will advices on a range of tailored solutions that are in your best interests.

We work with you to get to know you and to understand your situation before searching the whole of the market for the product or service we believe best meets your needs.

Who does the work?

We go out on your behalf to review and negotiated the best rates for your pension release, once we have found you this contact we will put you in touch with them – you will be pre qualified and they will already be aware of your needs and all matters will then be handled by the FCA company.  

How Much Will It Cost?

We do not charge you for our services and only the FCAs charge you.  Our recommendation to you will be transparent and inform you of cost and charges that your recommended FCA will ask for.

Very helpful, took time to look at my pension and help me to decide where best to go with it, explaining in detail so I understood it better

Mr Kellett

I am pleased with the service you provided and all the information you gave me was reassuring I made the correct decision. You staff were all very polite and helpful.

Mrs Finlay

 Oakwell Pension Release will donate to the Woodland Trust for every piece of business placed.

To find out more, please contact us today.

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