Can You Cash Out Your Pension?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Can You Cash Out Your Pension?

Yes, you can cash out your pension, but with conditions. Before selecting an annuity payout, most pension plans offer a lump sum option. This allows you to withdraw a single, large sum instead of receiving regular payments over time.

Key Points to Remember

  • Lump-Sum Option: Available before annuity choice. You receive all or part of your pension in one payment.
  • Annuity Payout: Regular payments over time. Once this starts, cashing out is usually not possible.
  • Commutation Benefit: Some annuities have this feature, allowing you to convert future payments into a lump sum under certain conditions.


  1. Before Annuity Choice: You retire and decide to take the entire pension as a lump sum.
  2. After Annuity Begins: You’re receiving monthly payments and cannot convert these to a lump sum, unless there’s a commutation benefit.


  • Tax Implications: Lump-sum withdrawals may have significant tax consequences.
  • Financial Planning: How does this decision affect your long-term financial security?
  • Plan Rules: Each pension plan has unique rules and options.

Pension Cash-Out Options

OptionAvailabilityFlexibilityTax Considerations
Lump SumBefore annuity selectionHighPossible high immediate tax
Annuity PayoutAfter retirementLowSpread over payments, potentially lower tax
Commutation BenefitSpecific conditions in annuityModerateVaries based on plan and amount


Cashing out your pension is a significant decision with varying options and implications. Understanding your pension plan’s rules and the financial impact is crucial. If you’re considering this, review your pension plan thoroughly and consult a financial advisor for personalized advice. This guide should have provided a clear understanding of your pension cash-out options, leaving you better informed to make the right choice for your financial future.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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