I’ve read about new 'freedom and choice' changes to pension rules. What does this mean?

Changes to pension laws in April 2015 have allowed people aged 55 or over to cash in their personal pensions. The changes removed the requirement to buy an annuity on retirement providing an income until death. However, those who opt to cash in some or all of their pension take the risk of being left without a regular income that lasts as long as they live, and are also vulnerable to pensions scams and high charges.

The TUC is very critical of these changes, describing them as an "ill-thought experiment with Britain’s pensions pots" and has called for a thorough review. "Savers must have access to good value, high quality retirement income options, not simply to be left alone to fend for themselves in a free-for-all."

There is information about the change to the law on the Pensions Advisory Service website, which also runs a free helpline: 0300 123 1047.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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