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Flexible drawdown boosts pension income options

Flexible drawdown, a new pension facility introduced last year, can provide alternative means of boosting retirement income for individuals who are suffering from low yields on gilt and interest rates.

Introduced in April 2011, flexible drawdown has reversed the historic lack of flexibility around pension income options by allowing individuals to dip in and out of their pensions whenever they like, as long as they meet the minimum income requirement of £20,000 per annum and have finished contributing to their pension pot.

Income streams eligible to form part of the minimum income include:

  • final salary pensions
  • pension annuities
  • scheme pensions
  • state pension benefits

It isn’t possible to start flexible drawdown if contributions have been made to any pension in the same tax year and, once in flexible drawdown, it is not possible to make further pension contributions.

Taylor Patterson has found that flexible drawdown allows people over the age of 55, who can demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria, to take unlimited amounts of income from their pension fund to support themselves at specific points in their lives where their outgoings are greater.

“It’s important for people to know that there is now much greater flexibility available,” said Kerry Houghton, SIPP & SSAS business development manager at Taylor Patterson.

“Those eligible for this facility can withdraw a fund in its entirety, or take part withdrawals, as best suits their needs. Our experience thus far tells us that many are using it to combat falling income levels under standard drawdown methods, simply making up the shortfall from previous amounts.”

For more information about flexible drawdown, please contact Kerry Houghton on 01772 555073 or email

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