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Could mixing and matching be right for you?

There could be lots of ways to mix and match your retirement income options. For example, you could:

  • take tax-free cash, take flexible income for some years and then buy an annuity in later life
  • buy an annuity with some of your pension pot and take the rest as flexible income, or
  • take some cash, leave the rest of your pot untouched for a while, then buy an annuity or take flexible income.

These are just examples. It all depends on you, your personal circumstances and how much you’ve got in your pension pot.

As a reminder, check out our EasyFacts pages on:

Now, let’s take a good look at mixing and matching your options

Good things about mixing and matching

  • 1. Completely tailored to you

    You can have a retirement income that fits you and your circumstances.

  • 2. Can be flexible if your needs change over time
    For example, you might want a higher income to start with, then a lower income when you start to draw your State Pension. Or a lower income now, with the potential for a higher income in the future to cover medical and care expenses.
    Read about how we helped Yousuf time his retirement benefits to save tax.
  • 3. You might feel like it gives you more protection

    If you're a cautious kind of person, you might be happier with a 'blended' retirement income that balances:

    • the potential investment growth you might get by investing your money and taking flexible income, with
    • more protection for your money as you get older (from a guaranteed income, for example).

Not-so-good things about mixing and matching

  • 1. It only really works for bigger pension pots
    If you’ve got a few smaller pension pots, you might think about bringing them together (known as ‘consolidation’) to give you a bigger pot to play with. But it’s worth checking first if any of your pensions have guarantees you’d lose if you transfer them out. MoneyHelper has guides to transferring defined benefit pensions and defined contribution pensions.
  • 2. It can get complicated

    There’s more to manage and consider for you and your loved ones including:

    • income tax implications
    • measuring benefits against the pension tax allowances, and
    • minimising inheritance tax.
  • 3. It could be expensive
    There might be several sets of charges involved from different providers and you'll almost certainly need to take financial advice. Fortunately, we can help with that.

But first... a warning

Pension scammers are experts in conning people. They’ll promise anything to get you to transfer your pension savings to them. But anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is.
Find out more by visiting the ScamSmart website.

Visit ScamSmart

We can help you maximise your potential

Pension Potential offers expert guidance and lots of support to help you understand more about your retirement options.

We don’t offer financial advice through Pension Potential. But, if you decide you need financial advice, we can refer you to our expert financial planners who offer this service.


Guidance is intended to help you understand your retirement options. It won’t make specific recommendations or tell you what you should do.

  • Personal insight gives you a personalised overview of the options available to you, but won’t recommend which option would be best for you.
  • Tailored insight enables you to use our annuity finder to search the market and buy an annuity. Any fees will be paid by commission from the annuity provider.
  • Expert insight offers the option of talking to an expert who will give you help and guidance, but won’t be able to recommend specific options unless you decide to take, and pay for, financial advice. They can discuss this with you.

Financial advice

Financial advice is a regulated professional service that will take your situation into account and make recommendations for options and products.

You may need financial advice if you’re interested in more complicated retirement options such as flexible income (drawdown), or mixing two or more retirement options.

You’ll need to pay for financial advice. We offer financial advice from highly-qualified chartered financial planners, with competitive charges.

Download our financial planning guide


We’ll always tell you in advance if there’s a charge for any guidance or advice you take from us.

Help with options you might not think of

Here at Pension Potential, we’re experts on the pension freedoms. We’re familiar with all the freedoms and how they work. Depending on your situation, we might be able to suggest combining them in ways you hadn’t thought of.

Ask for a free, no-obligation Pension Potential pack showing your personalised options for taking your pension savings.
Download your pack from the Pension Potential hub 
experts Your FREE Pack

Are you ready to maximise your pension potential?

  • Personal insight

    Go to our Pension Potential hub to get a free retirement pack with personal insights just for you.
    Find out more about us
  • Tailored insight

    If guaranteed income (annuity) appeals to you, use the Pension Potential annuity finder to shop around for your own tailored annuity.
    Go to the Pension Potential hub to access our annuity finder
  • Expert insight

    Once you’ve looked into your options, ask for a call with one of our friendly retirement experts.
    Book your call on the Pension Potential hub 
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