For simplicity purposes, this article will focus on the two main types of private pension arrangements:

  • Personal Pension Plans
  • Employer Pension Schemes


Personal Pension Plans

The earliest you may take benefits from a personal pension is age 60 and the latest is age 75. An exception to this is in the case of permanent incapacity. It is worth knowing that even if the Normal Retirement Age (NRA) specified on your pension documents is, for example, 65, you can still access benefits at 60. However, you may be subjected to a reduction in the value of your policy if you mature it before the NRA so it’s important to have all your facts before doing anything. There is no requirement to retire once you mature your pension.


Employer Pension Schemes

Generally, you may take benefits from an employer sponsored scheme between the ages of 60 and 70. However, if you have left employment with that organisation you may be able to take benefits as early as 50. This will depend on the scheme rules but most schemes allow this. As with personal pensions, there is often no requirement to retire to mature one of these pensions. There may be the possibility of taking benefits even earlier in certain cases of serious ill health.


As mentioned in previous articles, every policy needs to be looked at on an individual basis before doing anything. If you have a pension you’re unsure about feel free to give me a call on 068 31777 or 087 9308181. Alternatively, you can email me at


Gerard Ward

9th February 2017