From 6 April 2010, the earliest that any individual will be able to take their pension from a registered pension scheme (except in cases of ill-health) will be increased from age 50 to age 55. Transitional provisions protect certain categories of members (broadly, members who had a right to take pension at age 50 on 5 April 2006 (but this is subject to caveats)).

Employers and trustees should turn their attention now to the identification of protected members, so that future pensions administration runs smoothly. They may also wish to consider undertaking a communications exercise with members aged between 50 and 55 who, therefore, will be particularly affected by the so-called "cliff-edge" nature of the proposals.

We will issue a more detailed bulletin on this shortly.