You never know what is around the corner, so here is what to do when life changes.
Are you planning on moving house, or have you moved house recently? If you don’t update your address, this can delay your benefits being paid. If you move house, you should let IMI know.
You are legally entitled to access some of your retirement savings towards buying a property or repaying a mortgage. This is called the Encouragement of Home Ownership (EHO) scheme.
You can only take advantage of this during a specified period of time. You can find out more in the Technical Annex, although generally the latest you can withdraw savings for this reason is three months before you are entitled to retirement benefits (but no later than the normal retirement age according to the plan rules). The property you buy must become your main residence.
If you access your retirement savings to buy a house, you should note that any money you withdraw will cause a reduction in your retirement benefits.
If you decide to take part in the EHO scheme, any withdrawals from your retirement savings will be taxed immediately and separately from your income. How much you are taxed will depend on where you live, and how much you choose to withdraw. No part of your withdrawal payment may be used to pay taxes. If you decide to repay the withdrawal, you can claim back the taxes you paid under certain conditions. You cannot pay voluntary contributions until all withdrawals have been repaid.