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May I ask your age at present please?
Thanks. HMRC as you know give tax relief on your pension contributions. As part of the quid pro quo for this benefit there are rules which prevent you taking your pension before the age of 55.This is principally designed to stop people using their pensions as essentially a way to avoid income tax.
Accordingly principally what Arriva have told you is correct. There is an unofficial way of liquidating funds but it is costly.
Some companies will offer you the option of "cashing in your pension". What this effectively involves is your tranferring your pension to them and their giving you a loan which is repaid from your pension when it comes of age. This can be sold as an appealing option but you have to ay a fee to the conpany which can be substantial to transfer your pension and what they often dont tell you as HMRC will send you a bill for tax on the pension at 55%. This makes the proposal hugely expensive to say the least and so it will not be an attractive option for any but the most desperate.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you or assist you wth any further?