Benefit options and allowances

The main purpose of a pension is to provide an individual with an income when they reach a certain age.

This section provides information on the way benefits can be taken and the limits, protections and allowances that are available to your clients.

What is replacing the lifetime allowance from 6 April 2024?

The lifetime allowance charge was removed from 6 April 2023.  The lifetime allowance is being replaced by a lump sum allowance and a lump sum death benefit allowance from 6 April 2024.  These articles explain the pension tax regime changes for the 2023/24 tax year and the new allowances that apply from 6 April 2024.

Lump sum and lump sum death benefit allowance from 6 April 2024

Lifetime allowance changes for the 2023/24 tax year

Transitional tax-free amount certificates

Here we explain what a transitional tax-free amount certificate is and does. How to decide whether to apply for one and what information would allow you to successfully apply for one.

Transitional tax-free amount certificates – an explanation


This analysis focuses on when benefits can be taken, summarises the main options available and also looks at the restrictions that apply.

Benefit options summary

Increase in normal minimum pension age in 2028

Safeguarded benefits

Taking benefits

Income drawdown

One of the most popular options is income drawdown. There are two types: capped and flexi-access drawdown.

Flexi-access drawdown

Since 6 April 2015 any new drawdown plans must be a flexi-access drawdown plan. 

What is flexi-access drawdown?

Capped drawdown

New capped drawdown plans were only available until 6 April 2015. Existing plans can continue as long as the GAD limit is not exceeded.

Capped income drawdown and review dates

Beneficiary drawdown

Beneficiary drawdown is a death benefit option.

Beneficiary drawdown

CPD |Centralised retirement propositions

In this webinar, we explore the intricacies of centralised investment proposition (CIP) and centralised retirement proposition (CRP) frameworks, their relationship with the PROD rules and looks at how the financial planning community has been adopting and integrating these models within formal advice processes. Recorded on 19 November 2020.

Centralised retirement propositions

Lump sums

Sometimes it's possible to exchange all pension benefits for a one-off lump sum.

Trivial lump sums

Small lump sums

Uncrystallised funds pension lump sums

Winding-up lump sums

Emergency rate tax

An explanation of when emergency rate tax applies and how to get it back.

Emergency tax and lump sum withdrawals

Reaching age 75 

We look at reaching age 75 in our top five FAQs

Reaching age 75: our top five frequently asked questions


Once benefits have been taken, it's possible to re-use this money and pay it back into a pension. However, you won't be surprised to hear that there are rules and restrictions in place.

Recycling of tax-free cash

Our frequently asked questions

Here we look at some of the questions we are asked most often. 

Income drawdown

Lifetime allowance

Pension ages

Pension protection


Triviality and small pots

Ask a question

Ask any specific questions you might have about the world of pensions or protection to our technical experts.

Find out more