How to Unlock a Pension Under 50

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Different life situations may require you to unlock a pension before you're 50. There are ways to unlock a pension and secure your money without having to wait. The time it takes to do this will vary with the situation, but it could take as little a few weeks with the right approach.

Contact the financial institution that handles your account, and explain your needs. There certain forms and applications for people suffering financial hardship.

Fill out all the necessary paperwork. If you are married, your spouse's signature will usually be needed before any money is released from your pension. Keep in mind that if you are under age 55, roughly 25 percent of your pension will be available to you. If you work in a federally regulated field -- such as the banking or the telephone industries -- your account may be subject to federal law.

Complete, double-check and return all required paperwork to your financial institution. Seeking the help and advice of a financial consultant may be necessary. In many cases, the deadline is 60 days. Mistakes in paperwork can delay the process.


  • Unlocking a pension before you turn 55 could decrease the amount available for your retirement.