The new pesions freedoms have created a minefield for the unwary. We have already seen a number of cases in which policy holders, left to their own devices would have cashed in pension policies for a fraction of what they were worth. This is most likely to occur on older style polices know as Retirement Annuity contracts or Section 32 contracts, which hold funds from final salary scheme transfers. Both these types of contract may have a guarantee to pay a certain level of annuity at a specified time in the future. Because annuity rates in the 1980s were significantly higher than now, some of the guarantees may provide a pension up to three times larger than what is currently available on the open market. It's all in the fine print, so if you have asked for a quote to take the tax free cash from a pension and see a reference to "safeguarded rights" or Guaranteed annuity speak to an adviser. It could save you a lot of money in the long run!