If you want to, yes, you can access your entire Pension as one lump sum. Does it make sense to? Possibly not. So what is changing?
1) Pensions where the benefits have not yet been taken can be withdrawn as a single lump sum.
2) The old triviality rules will effectively be removed.
3) Anyone in Capped Drawdown already can in theory switch to Flexi-access Drawdown (assuming the provider will let you).
4) Anyone in Flexible Drawdown or thinking of Flexible Drawdown will no longer be limited by the minimum Pension income requirements.
Is it really that simple? Alarmingly, yes, assuming your Pension company is flexible enough to allow you to benefit from the new rules. But it is crucial to look at what the implications would be:
1) Taking your entire Pension in one go means up to 25% of the fund could be taken tax free, but the other 75% would be added to your income for the tax year and taxed as normal income. This could mean 75% of your Pension lump sum is taxed at 20%, 40% or 45%.
2) If you do withdraw your funds you will have a reduced Pension contribution allowance of £10,000 per annum.
3) If you do withdraw your Pension fund you will have to ask yourself where your retirement income will come from. Pensions are intended to provide you with an income for life. So, withdrawing the fund that was supposed to do that slightly pulls the rug from under you where Pension income is concerned. So think it through carefully.