Your pension - it's time to choose

Before you decide how to access your pension, make sure you take the time to understand all your options, and how they work 

Before completing your paperwork, please read:

1. Our 'My retirement' guide
2. MoneyHelper's Your pension: it's time to choose guide

On this page, you'll also find links to helpful pension calculators so you can see in real terms how much money you could get from each choice.

There is also information on how you can get guidance and advice to help you decide.

Our 'My retirement' guide

It's important to fully understand which choices we offer, and which choices we don't. Our My Retirement guide explains which choices we offer and how these work. Remember, the best option for you might not be one of the choices we offer.

if you would like to take advantage of one of the choices we don't offer, you'll need to move your pension to a provider who offers this. You might have another pension already set up which offers these options, and you could move your Church pension to that pension.

We have two guides, depending on which pension you have. If you aren't sure which is the right guide for you, please see the heading on your letter from us. 

Church Administrators Pension Fund (DC section) - 'My retirement' guide

Pension Builder 2014 - 'My retirement' guide

Pension Builder Classic - 'My retirement' guide

Moneyhelper's Your pension: It's time to choose

MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help. They have an excellent guide to help you decide which is the best choice for you. Please make sure you read this before completing your paperwork.

Download a copy here

Pension calculators to help you choose

MoneyHelper has a great range of calculators to help you choose which option might be best for you.

Choices we offer

Leaving your pot to grow

You can leave your pot with us for as long as you like. If you are still working for the NCIs, money will keep going into your pot, and you can keep topping this up with AVCs if you want to.
The earlier you take it the longer you will need to live off it, so only take it early if you can afford to do this. The longer you leave it the more chance your pot will have to grow, but it can also go down in value. Any money left in your pot can be passed on tax-free if you die before age 75. After this, it is taxed as income.

Use this calculator to find out more

Take your whole pension in one go

You can take your whole transfer value in one go as cash. A quarter is tax-free, and the rest is taxed as income. This is likely to push you into a higher tax bracket, which means you will pay more tax than you usually do.

You will need to plan how to provide an income for your retirement to make sure you have enough to last your lifetime, and whether you want to leave anything to someone when you die.
It is worth knowing what you will do with the money. If you leave it in the bank and inflation increases, it will reduce the spending power of your money.

Use this calculator to find out more


Choices with other providers

Adjustable income

You can get a regular income that goes up or down. So, if you need more money in one year but less in another, you can easily plan for this. Before you do this, you can take a quarter of your transfer value as a tax-free lump sum at the start. Your income after this is taxed.

As you get to pick how much you want and when you want it, your income is not guaranteed to last as long as you live. The more money you take out in the early years, the less is left for the future. With this option, any money left when you die can pass on to your loved ones, in some cases tax-free.

Use this calculator to find out more

Take cash in chunks

Instead of a regular income, you can take cash lump sums until your money runs out. How much you take is up to you. If you want to take large amounts over a shorter period, you can easily do this. A quarter of each amount you take is tax-free and the rest is taxed as income.

In between taking money out the rest stays invested. This gives your money a chance to grow, but it can also go down. With this option, any money left when you die can pass on to your loved ones.

Use this calculator to find out more

Buy a guaranteed income

A lifelong pension (also known as an annuity) provides you with an income that will last as long as you live. You can also get an income for a set number of years. If you want security instead of flexibility this is the option for you.

Before you buy an annuity, you can take a quarter of your pot tax-free. After this your pension will be taxed as income.

There are various types of annuity. The main features you can decide are how the pension will increase, whether you want to provide a pension for your husband, wife, or civil partner when you die, and whether there is a minimum length your pension will be paid, for example 5 years. If you smoke or have a medical condition, you may be able to get an ‘enhanced’

Buying an annuity is a one-time, irreversible decision, but not one you necessarily need to make when you retire. You can move your pension pot into ‘drawdown’ first while you value financial flexibility and buy an annuity later in life when you value the security of income more.

As you cannot change your mind once you have bought an annuity, and annuity prices vary significantly, shop around to make sure you get the best deal.

Use this calculator to find out more

Mix your options

You don’t have to pick just one option. You can mix and match these if you want to. You could use some of your pot to get an adjustable income and the rest to buy a guaranteed income.
If you have different pots, you can pick different options for each.

Use this calculator to find out more

Guidance and advice

Like everything in life we can be sceptical about the things we don’t know much about, or be reluctant to take that first step. But having tried something for the first time we often look back and wonder why we hadn’t done it sooner. Speaking to a professional about managing your money is no different.

Throughout your life, you're likely to have or need different financial products. There are lots of free places to help you understand these products, but they will only guide you. They can be a great way to get information, but you still need to decide which options are best for you and your circumstances.

If you're still unsure what to do, or you aren’t confident doing the research yourself, a financial adviser can help you get it right. While advice isn't free, an adviser is a specialist and will recommend the best options and solutions.


Doing your own research can be a great way to find out more about your pension and what you can do with it. Plus, it's free.

There are lots of free and helpful places at hand. The best place to start is by visiting MoneyHelper.

Book a free Pension Wise guidance session

Pension Wise provides free and impartial guidance which you can access online, over the phone, or face to face. They will give tailored help and highlight your choices, but they will not make specific recommendations, give you financial advice or help you set your pension up.

Book your free guidance session here.


To find out how we can help you find a financial adviser, and what to look out for when taking financial advice, head to our Financial Advice page.

Contact us

We are here to help. You can contact us by:

Phone: 020 7898 1802 (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)

Email: [email protected]