With the advent of auto enrolment in 2012, more Britons than ever before are contributing to a pension scheme. 

We all know that we should plan for our retirement, but for many of us that planning stops when we sign the form allowing our employer's to deduct a monthly contribution from our salary. Once retirement hits many of us have little idea what benefits we have accrued or the optimum means of accessing them; taking a lump sum in cash seems the easiest and most familiar route but the tax consequences can be significant. 

Seeking advice in advance of retirement either through an financial adviser or the government's own free Pension Wise service is time well spent to ensure no nasty retirement tax shocks.