Income drawdown as one of the other available options allows an income to be taken directly from the pension fund itself. Flexi-access drawdown funds become available on 6 April 2015. Prior to this date members had the option of using a flexible drawdown fund, but only if they could meet a minimum income requirement, or Capped Drawdown.
Unlike Phased Retirement through annuity purchase, under drawdown, income is taken directly from the fund. Since April 2015, and under the Pension freedom rules, it may be possible to take an unlimited level of income from the plan. Before this, the maximum income was set by the Government Actuary's Department (GAD), who set limits based on the size of the fund, age, sex and gilt yields. This was applicable with Capped Drawdown pension products which still exist.
Since April 2015 there is now much greater freedom to choose how you use your pension fund. See About Pension Freedoms.
Taking withdrawals may erode the capital value of the fund, especially if investment returns are poor and a high level of income is being taken.
High income withdrawals may not be sustainable.
A PENSION IS A LONG TERM INVESTMENT THE FUND VALUE MAY FLUCTUATE AND CAN GO DOWN. YOUR EVENTUAL INCOME MAY DEPEND UPON THE SIZE OF THE FUND AT RETIREMENT, FUTURE INTEREST RATES AND TAX LEGISLATIONS.