Buying a pension

When can I retire?

You can start taking your retirement benefits at any time between age 55 and 75.  You do not have to stop working to take your benefits (but please read the section regarding the Money Purchase Annual Allowance under HMRC limits on pension savings before you decide to do this). 

You can choose to rejoin CRISP with the agreement of your employer and the Trustees and recommence paying contributions.  Your employer may also need to automatically enrol you into the NEST pension scheme if required to do so by law.

If you are suffering from ill health, you may be able to take your benefits earlier than age 55 in some circumstances. 

Currently, you can't stay invested in your CRISP Account after 75.  So, if you want to delay taking your benefits until later, you'll need to transfer your savings to a different pension plan before you reach age 75.

Your default retirement age is 65, but you can choose your own selected retirement age.  You need to let Aviva know either online or in writing.

Six months before your selected retirement date Aviva will write to you to confirm the value of your savings in your CRISP Account and the options available to you.

There are currently several options available and when you take your savings you should speak to an independent financial adviser for help in determining which option(s) suits your needs best.  this is important as 'shopping around' could help you obtain a higher income.  For more information please visit


  • You can convert all or part of your CRISP Account value into an annuity.  An annuity is a product that will give you income throughout your retirement that can be purchased with any provider in the market (known as Open Market Option).
  • The amount of the annuity payable will depend upon a number of factors such as the type of annuity purchased, whether you take a tax-free cash sum, the provider selected and your health and age.

Lump sum

  • You can normally take up to 25% of your CRISP Account value as a tax-free cash sum.
  • Alternatively, you will have the option to take your CRISP Account value as a single cash lump sum payment, called an Uncrystallised Funds Pension Lump Sum.  25% of the lump sum will be paid to you tax free, with the balance subject to tax at your marginal rate of income tax for the year that you take the lump sum.

Drawdown pension

  • If you wish you can transfer out of CRISP when you retire into a pension arrangement of your choice that offers income drawdown.  You cannot take income drawdown directly from CRISP.
  • Where drawdown applies (in another arrangement), you can normally take 25% of your savings as a tax-free cash sum, with any subsequent withdrawals taxed as income.
  • This option allows you to take income directly from your savings while leaving the remaining savings invested.


  • You can transfer your CRISP Account value to another registered pension scheme.  Other registered pension schemes may allow additional options.