Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer and pleased to be able to assist you with your enquiry.
If you are aged 55 or over you can access your entire pension pot, 25% of which is tax free the balance being taxable to your marginal rate of tax, which, if you are in the 40% tax bracket, would mean a tax charge of 75% of 12K = 9K @ 40% = 3.6K of tax due. Of course if you are only in the 20% bracket the charge would be less. Timing is of the essence here.
An alternative approach is for you to move this pension pot into another pension fund if you have one and this would avoid the tax and your pot only suffer some administrative charge. The transfer would not effect the level of annual contributions to the other pension fund.
I do hope that I have shown you the way forward in this matter.
Thank you for your support.
Have a look at this though, just posted on aol.co.uk: