Pension Drawdown Calculator

This pension drawdown calculator is designed to help those who are going to use flexible drawdown as a means to generate income in retirement rather than buying an annuity.

What does the calculator show?

Enter in your current pension fund as the starting value, how much pension income you want and select when you want the income to start. Click “Calculate” and a graph will appear below, plotting the balance left in your drawdown account over time.

Guide to the Pension Drawdown Calculator

Who will it be useful to?

This calculator is designed to help those who are going to use flexible drawdown as a means to generate income in retirement rather than buying an annuity. It looks at the sustainability of income at different investment rates and the impact of taking a one off withdrawal from your fund.  It shows what the likely residual value of your fund will be depending on how long you live.

What does the pension drawdown calculator show?

Enter in your current pension fund as the starting value, when you want the pension to start and how much pension income you want. You can vary the income over three different periods of your retirement, for example to adjust to account for your state pension. You can also add in up to three one off withdrawals, bearing in mind that up to 25% of the account value can usually be drawn as tax free lump sums. Click “calculate” and on graph below lines will appear plotting the balance in left in your drawdown account over time using the two different investment returns, which you can also adjust.

If the balance goes to zero, your projected fund has run dry and your income will stop at this age along the bottom (x) axis. If the line does not go to zero this showing there will be residual balance in the drawdown account.

You can adjust the real investment return assumption as an annual percentage to show the impact of this on your fund value. You need to click calculate each time you change one or more of the input boxes.
You can then add in a one off withdrawal and click calculate again a second plot (brown line) will show how this one off withdrawal will impact the balance in your account over time. This will show you how much more quickly the fund will run dry, or how much lower the residual balance will be.

How does it work?

The pension drawdown calculator projects forward a balance for the drawdown account adding on the set investment return each year and deducting the planned income withdrawals.  If a one off withdrawal is added in this is deducted from the drawdown fund balance at outset.

Important Tax & Investment Points to Consider When Using the Calculator

Tax Free Cash and Taxable Withdrawals

The calculator just looks at the gross withdrawals made from the fund, initially you may still have entitlement to your 25% tax free lump sum, after this withdrawals will be taxed as income before you receive them by your pension administrator.

If you are thinking of making a large taxed withdrawal you may wish to use our Pension Withdrawal Calculator to work out the tax you will pay on this and whether this can be reduced by spreading it over more than one tax year.

Real Investment Returns Net of Fees

The calculator allows you to select a range of investment returns net of both fees and inflation. Whilst these returns might seem low remember you need to think about the returns you will make after the costs of running your drawdown account and after deducting inflation each year.  For example if an investment returns 5% gross, all the costs of running your drawdown account are 1.5% and inflation is 2% this will equate to a 1.5% real return net fees as per the calculator.  

Furthermore the calculator uses an average return with the assumption this is made year after year.  In practice if you are investing actively some years will be good and some years will be bad, the average return must take account of the bad years as well as the good ones.

Remember if you invest actively the value of investments and the income they generate can fall as well as rise.

Get Help and Advice

If you are in any doubt as to what is a reasonable income to plan to receive given the current size of your pension drawdown account, how long this income might be sustainable for given your life expectancy and how a one off withdrawal will impact this, then get the help of a suitably qualified pension adviser.


In an invested drawdown account your capital and the income it produces is at risk and can fall as well as rise, you may not get back all of your initial investment.

Excessive withdrawals will accelerate the decline of your drawdown account value, ultimately running it down to zero, after which further withdrawals will be impossible.

Any information contained within this page should not be deemed to constitute investment advice and should not be relied upon as the basis for a decision to enter into a transaction, or as the basis for any financial or investment decision. Investors should always seek professional advice in regard to the suitability of any investment transaction.

Tideway cannot be held responsible for any investment losses based on investment decisions made using this calculator without personalised advice from one of Tideway’s advisers.