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when can you claim a private pension

(9 Posts)
lilyliz Sun 28-Nov-10 22:00:58

got a friend who is 55 and wants to know if she could lift a very small pension she started years ago and then could'nt afford to keep up.She does'nt want to approach the company direct at the moment in case they try to fob her off from getting it but I have a feeling the rules on this changed and she can't get it ,anybody out there know the rules and can help,be much appreciated ta

DrewsGirl Mon 29-Nov-10 10:10:30

I think it depends on the particular company, my mum is 50 and has recently taken all of her small pensions from previous employments as lump sums, it worked out better than waiting until 65 as she would have been getting such tiny amounts if taken monthly.

Chil1234 Mon 29-Nov-10 10:31:28

I think it depends on how she set up the pension to start with. If she stipulated '55' when she took out the policy then she'd be fine. If she opted for a later retirement age then she'd have to wait. If it's her pension she shouldn't hold back from approaching the company direct and asking for a statement... she's the customer, after all.

lilyliz Mon 29-Nov-10 12:41:15

I am having a real problem with har as she does'nt want to be seen as a scrounger and has'nt even been to see about a rent ior council tax rebate,I do keep telling her it is what she is entitled to and offered to go with her but nothing will budge her thanks for advice I'll see how it goes.

Chil1234 Mon 29-Nov-10 14:10:04

Maybe if your friend saw it less as 'scounging' and more as a small rebate of the thousands in tax she's contributed over the 30+ years she's been in employment she'd feel differently? Would she let you run her details through www.entitledto.com? That could be quite an eye-opener if she saw it in black and white.

emsyj Mon 29-Nov-10 17:41:20

Is it an occupational pension or a personal pension? The minimum age for taking a pension changed in April this year to 55 from 50, although there are transitional protections for members of qualifying schemes. Was that the change you had in mind?

The age when your friend can take a pension depends on the rules of the scheme. I would need some more info to be able to help, or she can call the Pensions Advisory Service for assistance.

Setting up a personal pension with a 'target' retirement age does not necessarily mean you can't take it at a different age.

Sorry this is rambling and not helpful but if you say what sort of pension scheme it is I can try and be more helpful! I am a pensions lawyer.

lilyliz Mon 29-Nov-10 18:38:18

its a private pnsion with century life and she has the grand sum,wait for it ,of about £3500 in it,not much I know but she does need the money as being so bloody minded about benefits.

emsyj Mon 29-Nov-10 21:31:25

It would be usual to be able to take it from normal minimum pension age in that case, although taking it early may affect it's value obviously as the fund won't be invested for as long and any annuity will have to be paid for longer. She may be able to take the whole lot under the trivial commutation rules (sometimes you can get a lump sum payout of the value of the fund where any pension would be very small, but confess I don't know what the limits are as I've never advised on it).

She needs to get in touch with the administrators and enquire. They should be able to tell her over the phone whether she can get a pension now and will then work out the figures. She shouldn't be embarrassed at all, they probably deal with dozens of these requests every day.

PinkElephantsOnParade Tue 30-Nov-10 10:10:57

Why does she feel she is scrounging?

This is money she has paid into a fund herself. It is not claiming benefits.

Even that is not scrounging as she is entitled to it and has paid into the social security system for years.

Would she be embarassed about withdrawing money from her own bank account?

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