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Pension ages (minimum and maximum)

The minimum age at which pension benefits can be taken is, since 5 April 2010, 55*.

Pension contributions can be made by an adult in their own right from the age of 18, but parents (and other relatives) can contribute to a children's pension (such as a junior stakeholder or junior SIPP) at any time from the birth of the child.

Ill health exception - a pension may be paid at any age and, if life expectancy is declared by medical experts to be less than one year, can be provided as a lump sum.

There is now no maximum age for pensions to commence (whereas prior to 6 April 2011 an annuity could not be taken out after age 75).

* Prior to 5 April 2006 some professions were granted a dispensation to retire early (eg some sports people and dancers). If you fit into such a category and accrued rights under a pension before 2006, it may be possible to protect your rights to retire early. Consult your financial adviser.

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