Using the four pots

Flexible income pot

How is money in the flexible income pot invested?

Any money you put in this pot will be invested in the Smart Income Fund.
Download the fund fact sheet (PDF)

How is my income estimated?

To work out the income you can receive from your flexible income pot, we look at:

  • your age
  • the value of your flexible income pot
  • how your money is invested
  • your chosen later life age

Using expert analysis, we then use this information to estimate an income that will probably last until your selected later life age.

You can see an up-to-date estimate whenever you like by signing into Smart Retire.

Is my income taxed?

Your income is taxable, so we’ll deduct any tax due before it’s paid into your bank account. You could pay emergency tax on your first payment. If this happens, we will refund you in your next payment or you can contact HMRC for a refund.

When do I receive income payments?

Your income payments will be paid into your bank account on or before the 25th of each month, unless you decide to stop receiving payments. If the 25th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a bank holiday in England and Wales, you'll receive your payment the previous working day.

Can I check how long my flexible income will last?

Every time you sign into Smart Retire you'll see an updated estimate. So if it looks like your income might run out a little early you could take a lower income for a little while. Or you could move money into the flexible income pot from one of your other pots.

How does the flexible income pot work?

You can use this pot to take a monthly income in the early years of your retirement. You can stop, start or change how much income you take whenever you need to.

Later life pot

How is money in the later life pot invested?

Any money you put in this pot will be invested in the Smart Annuity Fund.

Download the fund factsheet (PDF)

How do I know what age to access the pot?

When you choose to access the pot is up to you. It will depend on your personal circumstances, age, health circumstances, and what other sources of income you have outside of Smart Retire. If you'd like help deciding when to use your later life pot, you can seek impartial guidance from Pension Wise, or advice from a financial adviser.

How do you estimate my later life income?

When working out the income you could get from an annuity, we look at things like how much your later life pot might be worth at your chosen age, and typical life expectancy. We assume the annuity will be:

  • payable only to you
  • payable for life with no minimum period
  • paying you the same amount every month

A lot could change between now and when you use your later life pot and you might get more or less than the amount we estimate.

Do I have to buy an annuity with my later life pot?

You don’t have to use the money in your later life pot to buy an annuity - there are other options available. For example, you could continue to take flexible withdrawals.

How does the later life pot work?

You can use this pot to provide you with an income from whatever age you select. For example, you could use it to secure a guaranteed income for the rest of your life from an insurance company, also known as an annuity.

Inheritance pot

How is money in the inheritance pot invested?

Any money you put in this pot will be invested in the Smart Growth - Moderate Risk Fund.

Download the fund fact sheet (PDF)

How does the inheritance pot work?

If you want to set some money aside to leave as an inheritance you can save it in this pot. We’ll try to grow your money for you so you can leave a lump sum behind for your loved ones.

Don’t worry if you change your mind later - you can always move money out of this pot if you need it.

Rainy day pot

How is money in the rainy day pot invested?

Any money you put in this pot will be invested in the Smart Cash Fund.

Download the fund fact sheet (PDF)

Is the rainy day pot suitable for emergencies?

The rainy day pot is intended for planned expenses and money in the pot could take up to eight working days to reach your bank account. It could be a good idea to have cash in a bank account that you can immediately access to pay for unexpected emergencies.

Can I add more money to the rainy day pot?

It’s easy to top up your rainy day pot with money from another pot. However, if you won't need to use the funds for a while, you could consider using the later life and inheritance pots instead. You can't top the rainy day pot up with money that isn't already in your Smart Retire account.

Are withdrawals taxed from the rainy day pot?

Withdrawals reach your bank account in eight working days and PAYE tax is deducted at source.

Any withdrawals will be taxed as income and could push you into a higher tax band. Learn more about how your pension is taxed.

We'll deduct any tax due before we pay your withdrawal. For example, if you’re a basic rate tax payer (20% tax rate) and you withdraw £1,000, you’ll receive £800 in your bank account.

How does the rainy day pot work?

You can use this pot to take lump sum withdrawals from your account. It might be useful to keep some money in this pot for planned expenses, like home improvements or a holiday.

You can withdraw money from this pot whenever you need to and it should be in your bank account up to eight working days later.

You take money from your other pots to top this pot up if you wish.

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