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Pension Drawdown Calculator

Our Drawdown Calculator allows you to see how your pension fund could be used to provide you an income in retirement.

The drawdown calculator is currently available for people wanting to access their pension who are aged 55 and over.

  • Watch Drawdown Explained
  • Watch Retirement Planning Risks
Step 1
Your Drawdown Summary

* Gross investment return required to maintain the starting value of your pension fund.

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Step 2
Your Personalised Guidance Report

Download your personalised retirement guidance report today.

This FREE personalised retirement pension drawdown report will:

  • Be based on your personal circumstances
  • Allow you to see how much income you could get
  • Get up to 60 guaranteed income quotes instantly
  • Help you understand the tax implications
  • Explain what happens to your pension on death

Simply enter your email address to recieve your FREE personalised report.

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Frequently asked Questions

How much income will my pension give me?

There are multiple possible income options based on the choices you make. Our report will guide you through the options and clearly state home much income you can get from your Pension it is important because the choices you make at this stage may not be able to be changed easily, or at all, at a later date.

What is an annuity?

You can use your pension fund to purchase an annuity. If you do, you are essentially spending the capital you have built up in your pension fund to provide you with a secure income, for either a fixed term or until your death. The type of annuity you purchase will determine the level of income it provides.

What are the pros and cons of an annuity?

Some of the pros of an annuity are:

  • You have the option to shop around to find the best buy rates that could increase your income.
  • If you smoke, suffer from ill health or are currently taking any ongoing prescribed medication, it could enhance your annuity income significantly.
  • Once your annuity is set up, your income is secure, will be paid to you for at least the rest of your life no matter how long you live.
  • Your income is not affected in any way by investment market performance and it doesn't need to be reviewed.
  • If annuity rates fall after purchase, your income won't be affected.

Some of the cons of an annuity are:

  • Once your annuity is set up, it is likely that your income cannot be changed in the future, even if your own personal circumstances change.
  • If you were able to 'cash in' your annuity at a later date (the government have said they would like this to be an option for existing and new annuity clients in the future), it may not be financially advantageous to do so.

    Even if a change in legislation allows this to happen, there may be very few providers that would be willing to sell or buy an existing annuity at a price that would be acceptable to the annuitant.
  • If you choose a level income its spending power will be eroded by inflation over time.
  • If you die in the early years, the total income you've received may be less than the pension fund used to buy the annuity.
  • Your income cannot be inherited by your dependents when you die, unless you have included a spouses / dependents pension at the point of purchase or you have put in place a specific guaranteed payment period; for example to ensure payments continue for 10 years or more from outset regardless of when you die.
  • Once you have purchased your annuity, you will not have any remaining funds to pass to your dependents unless you included 'value protection'. More information about value protection can be found in the section about 'death benefits' in our report.

What is income drawdown?

Flexi Access Drawdown essentially allows you to 'draw-down' on your pension fund. In theory you can use the fund like a bank account as you take as much or as little from your plan as you wish. In reality, it's a lot more complex than a bank account and its important to ensure you invest the money in your pension appropiately if you are planning to utilise flexi-access drawdown. You can opt for a regular income, or take frequent or infrequent lump sums.

What are the pros and cons of pension drawdown?

Some of the pros of Drawdown are:

  • You can take your tax free cash lump sum without taking any income.
  • You can adjust your income according to your lifestyle and tax situation at any time.
  • You can choose where your pension is invested; this can be in funds, shares, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, gilts, cash and more.
  • You can continue to pay pension contributions.
  • If you die before age 75, your whole pension pot can be paid out tax-free.
  • If you die after age 75 your beneficiaries may need to pay tax on the death benefits they receive, dependent on the date they receive the money and their own individual circumstances.

Some of the cons of Drawdown are:

  • You will be responsible for your own investments.
  • Your fund will continue to be exposed to investment risk.
  • The capital value of your fund may be eroded completely, especially if you draw out more income than the fund is making in investment returns each year.
  • There are ongoing charges for continuing to keep your pension fund invested.
  • Legislation may change in the future which may make flexi-access drawdown less attractive or tax efficient.
  • Annuity rates may be at a worse level in the future.

Should I choose an annuity or drawdown?

This is what our report will help you to decide.

What's the difference between annuity and income drawdown?

Simply an annuity is a guaranteed income, where as drawdown is like taking money out of a bank account - it may not last as long as you do.

For some people an Annuity is likely to be the most appropriate option and similarly for other people FlexiAccess Drawdown is most likely to be the most appropriate choice. This report strives to give the information you require in a balanced way, to help you to make the choice that will be most appropriate for you.

How important is inflation in retirement?

The income you receive from your pension fund, whether it is from an Annuity or Flexi-Access Drawdown, may have to last for 20 years or more. Over time, the cost of living (the price of everyday goods) naturally goes up - this is inflation - and one consideration when selecting the level of income you take in retirement is whether to include any sort of provision for the increase in cost of living.

With an annuity you have to select an income option at the outset and once selected it cannot be changed. This means that if you do not include any sort of inflation protection you will be unable to add this at a later stage. This also means that if you chose a 'level' income rather than an 'escalating' income your income will remain at the same level for as long as it is paid (potentially 20 or more years). This in turn means that as prices go up the amount you receive from your pension will not and you will therefore be able to buy less each year.

There is no automatic inflation proofing option with Flexi Access Drawdown however you do have the ability to increase or decrease the level of income you take as your circumstances change. Of course the higher the level of income you take from the remaining fund the less time it will last.

Will an enhanced annuity provide me with more income?

As people get older invariably their health deteriorates. For some people this is earlier than others.

The level of income provided by an annuity will take into consideration an individual's age and health (as well as the options they chose) when determining the level of income they are prepared to provide in exchange for the remaining pension fund.

Most annuity providers will also take into consideration a person's health when they provide an annuity quotation.

As the level of annuity income is based on life expectancy, if an individual has a reduced life expectancy due to health problems then it is likely that they would be able to receive a higher level of income. Health issues that can possibly affect the annuity income level range from a person's smoking habits or a history of high blood pressure to more serious health issues.

Before taking out an annuity you should always check whether you may qualify for a higher level of income via an enhanced annuity.

What will happen to my pension when I die?

If you have an annuity, your income cannot be inherited by your dependents when you die, unless you have included a spouses / dependents pension at the point of purchase or you have put in place a specific guaranteed payment period; for example to ensure payments continue for 10 years or more from outset regardless of when you die.

If you are using drawdown on your pension and you die before age 75, your whole pension pot can be paid out tax-free. If you die after age 75 your beneficiaries may need to pay tax on the death benefits they receive, dependent on the date they receive the money and their own individual circumstances.

How should I invest my pension in retirement?

An appropriate investment strategy only applies to Flexi Access Drawdown. An Annuity works by using your remaining pension fund to purchase an income for life. Your entire fund is given to the annuity provider and you have no responsibility for any investment decisions. The performance of the stock market will make no difference to the level of income you receive.

With Flexi-Access Drawdown your remaining pension fund needs to be invested somewhere and the investment decisions you make are likely to affect the level of income you are able to take later in your retirement. For this reason it is important that you consider what investment strategy you should adopt and the potential effect this strategy could have on the level of income you could receive both now and in the future.

What tax will I pay if I draw money out of my pension?

You can choose to take out as much or as little of your pension fund as you wish; any amount from a very small amount to the whole pot. Whatever amount you choose, 25% of the amount you take will be free of tax and the remaining 75% will be added to your annual income and taxed as income accordingly.

For example if you earned £20,000 per annum, your retirement fund is £50,000 and you decided to withdraw £30,000. £7,500 would be paid to you tax free (this is 25% of the amount you have taken (crystallised)) and the remaining £22,500 would be added to your existing £20,000 income. You would pay income tax on the total amount of taxable income you have received. i.e. £42,500.

What different annuity options are available?

As part of your retirement income planning preparation, it is important to understand what level of guaranteed income might be payable to you if you were to choose to give up the capital held in your pension fund in exchange for a life long annual income.

With an annuity there are options such as 'Escalation Type', 'Guarantee Period', and a 'Spouse Pension'. We go through all of these in our retirement planning report.

How important is it to have an increasing income in retirement?

An annuity could potentially be paid for 30 years or more. Over this time the price of goods and services will increase; this is inflation. If you purchase a level annuity the amount you receive each year will remain the same for as long as it is paid. This means that the amount of goods and services your annuity will be able to purchase will be less and less each year.

Whilst a level annuity will give you a higher initial amount compared to an increasing annuity, it will not keep pace with inflation.

Single vs joint annuities?

You are purchasing an income for the rest of your life. Have you considered what income your family would receive when you die? A single life annuity is likely to give you a higher income level than a joint life annuity however it will only last for your lifetime. Once you die the income will stop and your loved ones will receive nothing.

How do annuity guarantee periods work?

Your income cannot be inherited by your dependents when you die, unless you have included a spouses / dependents pension at the point of purchase or you have put in place a specific guaranteed payment period; for example to ensure payments continue for 10 years or more from outset regardless of when you die.

How important life expectancy is when planning for retirement?

With an annuity, long life is not a problem. There is no risk of your retirement income running out. Additionally, if you have a medical condition you might be able to secure a higher level of income. If you have a serious illness that is reducing your life expectancy, buying an annuity might not be the right thing to do.

With flexible access drawdown, living a long and fulfilling retirement could become a problem in the future if you don't get the investment strategy for your pension right. If your retirement ends up being longer than you had expected, you could run out of money. You need to think carefully about how long you need your pension fund to provide you with an income. If you get the investment strategy right, your income could be higher in later years or you might still have some money left in your pension pot to pass on to your loved ones.

Drawdown Explained

Retirement Planning Risks


GDPR - Your Personal Data

What we need

Money Minder will be known as the "Controller" of the personal data you provide to us.

In the conduct of business with you we will need to collect information about you which we will hold as data controllers under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We will use this information to ensure that our advice is suitable for your circumstances. Unless otherwise agreed, we will usually only collect basic personal data about you. If health, life insurance or enhanced annuity contracts are being applied for, we may request medical information including family medical history. This is known as "sensitive personal data".

If you wish to see a list of data which we may hold about you, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Ray Black.

What we do with it

We will use this information to ensure that our advice is suitable for your circumstances. All the personal data we hold about you will be processed by our staff and selected third parties in the United Kingdom. It may also be disclosed to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who regulate us and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which is an independent arbitrator and wherever there is a legal obligation that we do so. Additionally, it may also be disclosed to our Compliance Consultants and / or External Paraplanners and Consultants who help to ensure that, in your interests, we abide by the rules of the Financial Services and Markets Act, (FSMA) 2000 and any other regulations.

Please be aware that your information may be stored on a cloud-based system.

How long will we keep it?

The FCA requires us to keep records of our business transactions for specified periods and as long as it is in your interests that we do so. We will generally keep your personal data for no less than for the duration of our business relationship.

Your data will be updated and amended if necessary at the regular review meetings that you have with your financial adviser and/or if you specifically notify us of any changes to your personal details.

Using your personal data for marketing purposes

We may contact you from time to time to provide you marketing information such as our online newsletters and to bring your attention additional products or services which we think may be of benefit to you.

If you agree to being contacted by us for marketing purposes, please tick the relevant consent box when providing contact details on our website.

Your Rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have various rights regarding the use of your personal data which are as follows:

Our Lawful Basis for Processing your Personal Data

If you wish to raise a complaint about how we have handled your personal data, including in relation to any of the rights mentioned above, you can contact our Data Protection Officer Ray Black at and he will investigate your concerns.

If you are not satisfied with our response, or believe we are processing your data unfairly or unlawfully, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). You can find further information about the ICO and their complaints procedure at the following link

Annual income required

When using flexi-access drawdown to provide you with a retirement income, you can decide how much you take out of the plan each year. However, it is important to remember that you more you withdraw, the higher your income tax liability is likely to be and if you withdraw a significant amount of money out of your pension each year, the more likely you are to spend down your entire pension fund.

Pension Fund (at retirement)

The amount you enter in this box should be the total value of all of your defined contribution pension funds.

Maximum Tax Free Cash (25%)

It's possible that one or more of your pension plans may have a higher entitlement to tax free cash than 25%. This should be investigated prior to you drawing benefits. You don't have to take out all of your tax free cash in one go. Instead, you could choose to take release parts of your tax free cash only as you actually need it. The ability to 'phase' your tax free cash entitlement over a number of years is really helpful to individuals wishing to reduce their annual income tax liability in retirement.