My options

If you’ve left the ​Scheme, you can rest easy knowing that your benefits will be preserved until you’re ready to claim them.

When to take your pension

You can:

  • claim your preserved benefits when you reach your normal retirement age (you can check your normal retirement age by logging into your myRPS account or calling the Helpline on 0800​ 012 1117.
  • claim your benefits early. However, this is at the Trustee’s discretion and the earlier you take them, the​ more they will be reduced as they are being paid for longer. You can find out more here
  • postpone taking your benefits when you reach normal retirement age. Late retirement factors will be used to calculate how much extra will be added to your benefits when you decide to take them (up to a maximum age of 75)
  • transfer your RPS benefits to another scheme. Read more about this in the guide to transfer options.

How to take your pension

When you're ready to claim, you have a few options of how to do it.

You can:

  • Take part of your benefits as a cash lump sum and the rest as regular pension payments. You decide how you portion this eg Graphic showing that you can either take a larger lump sum and less pension OR a smaller lump sum and more pension


  • Take your entire benefits as regular pension payments. This is only possible if the rules of your particular pension section allows and you don’t make any Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

  • Take your entire benefits as a cash lump sum, if the rules of your particular section allow
  • Transfer your entire benefits to an alternative pension provider, if the rules of your particular section allow. 

For any lump sum you take, the first 25% of the value of your benefits will be tax free and you’ll pay income tax on the rest. 

You may have preserved DB benefits but also be a member of a DC scheme, either with the RPS or another provider.  If this is the case and you take your benefits before age 55, then legally you must take all of your benefits at the same time. 

Find out more here

Making a decision

It is strongly advised that you get independent financial advice before ​deciding to claim or transfer your benefits. You can find out more here 

You should also check out the warning signs of pension scams to make sure you're not being targeted before agreeing to any transfers.

When contacting Railpen, please quote your pension reference number, which is available in your myRPS account when you log in (or register).