We know that choosing when and how to take your BTPS pension is not an isolated decision. Your plans will need to take account of other pensions you or your partner may have. The State Pension and other investments you have will all need to be factored against the income you think you’ll need.

Different pensions may kick in at different times. You might be stopping work or carrying on and need to think about income tax. It is the combination of all these elements, together with your BTPS pension, that will help you plan and make the right decision for you.

Find out about…

  • State Pension

    When you reach State Pension age, you’ll need to claim your State pension – it doesn’t get paid automatically. You might start taking your BTPS pension member many years before then - but both pensions are taxed as income, so be prepared.

    If you’re retirement planning, find out what age you’ll qualify, what amount you can expect and what you’ll need to do to claim – either from the UK or overseas if you’re planning to retire abroad.

    Visit the government website Plan your retirement: step by step pages at gov.uk for more information.

  • Other pensions

    You may have other pensions you’ve lost track of over the years. If that’s the case, use the government’s pension tracing service.

    From 6 April 2024 the government abolished the Lifetime Allowance and replaced it with two new allowances: the Lump Sum Allowance (LSA) and the Lump Sum and Death Benefit Allowance (LSDBA). These allowances limit the amount of tax-free lump sums which an individual can take from their pension arrangements.

    When you apply to take your pension, we’ll ask you if you have taken money from any other pension arrangements. This is to calculate your available Lump Sum Allowance and the Lump Sum and Death Benefit Allowance.

    You can read more about tax-free lump sum allowances at moneyhelper.org.uk.

  • Transferring out to another pension scheme

    Depending on your personal circumstances, you may consider transferring your BTPS pension benefits to another pension provider. This is a big decision. If you decide to leave, you can’t reverse that decision once the transfer is complete.

    You can make a full transfer or a partial transfer out of BTPS. A partial transfer involves just benefits built up after 31 March 2009. If you are considering transferring out, you will need to speak to an independent financial adviser. You should also protect yourself from pension scams. Find out how to avoid scammers at the Financial Conduct Authority’s Scamsmart site.