Pension Freedom Withdrawals Continue to Rise

Now two years into the pension freedom changes it has become clear that demand for accessing pension benefits in a flexible way is showing no sign of slowing down with less and less people still choosing not to purchase select a secure method of retirement income.

A total £1.59bn was flexibly withdrawn in Q1 2017, the most in any quarter since Q2 2016 and more than 390,000 flexible payments were made in the quarter. The first quarter of 2017 also saw the highest number of individuals access their pensions flexibly with 176,000 people doing so.

However, despite the high total amount withdrawn in the latest quarter, average withdrawals per person have continued to fall - a trend seen since pension freedoms' introduction in April 2015. This is a positive sign that people are taking advantage of the flexible options and control of their pension funds but whilst still considering the longevity and sustainability of the fund throughout retirement.