Pension Schemes – Normal minimum pension age rises from April 2010Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Pension reforms introduced in 2003 introduced a single minimum pension age of 50 for all registered occupational and personal pension schemes. This minimum age increases to 55 from 6 April 2010. From that date, pension scheme members will normally only be able to draw their pension when they are 55 or older.
Scheme members between the ages of 50 and 55 who are already drawing their pension are not affected. The upper pension age, before which all pensions must start to be taken, is unchanged at 75.
It is still possible for scheme members to start their pensions before age 55 where, for example,
- they have severe health problems that prevent them carrying on their occupation or have a short life expectancy, or
- their pension age is “protected” under the rules of an occupational pension scheme that were in force on 10 December 2003.
There are no statutory rules preventing pension schemes from introducing the new minimum pension age before April 2010 and some schemes have already changed the rules to this effect.
HMRC has published a series of questions and answers on this change but, in principle, scheme members should raise issues that affect them personally with their employer, pension scheme administrator or financial adviser.
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