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HMRC: More than £2.7bn withdrawn from pensions since April

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More than £2.7bn has been withdrawn from pensions through flexible payments since the retirement freedoms were launched, according to figures from the HMRC.

The tax office says a total of 146,000 people accessed the freedoms through 251,000 payments between April and September.

While the total number of payments and individuals remained broadly flat in Q2 and Q3, the total value of payments dropped off from July.

Savers took £1.56bn in the three months from April, and £1.17bn between July and September, according to the Revenue.

The totals include partial or full withdrawals, money taken from a flexible drawdown account and purchases of a flexible annuity. However, they do not include tax-free cash payments.

In order to manage the burden on the industry, reporting of the figures was not made compulsory by HMRC, although this will change from April 2016.

HMRC’s figures are in stark contrast to those produced by The Association of British Insurers, which reported last month that savers had accessed £2.4bn in the first three months of the freedoms.

HMRC head of pensions and savings policy analysis Mark Spivack says: “We are confident that this represents a good majority of the industry, but we are unable to be definitive.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I am not really surprised at this figure other than I thought it would be higher! I will keep an eye out for the increase in Ferrari’s and Porsches on the roads!

  2. If you take a billion to be an American Billion (1,000 Million) then the Treasury has pocketed at the very least £540 million – calculated at 20%.

    Now you see what these ‘Freedoms’ were designed to do. Annuities anyone?

  3. The ABI figures probably include the tax free cash payments

  4. Withdrawals will gather pace year on year until the Industry offers value for money.

  5. Act in haste, repent at leisure, as many probably will. The CMC vultures are already circling…

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