Pension pots spent or held in cash as just 25% pay for advice


Many savers who have accessed their pot since pension freedoms have either spent it all or parked it in a savings account, with just 25 per cent paying for advice.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published its latest wave of research on patterns in retirement following the reforms.

Based on an initial survey of 1,042 adults and a further survey of over 2,000 adults, both aged between 55 and 70, the trade body’s research found 14 per cent of respondents had accessed their pension savings for the first time under the freedoms.

The majority, 63 per cent, had started to look at how they would take their pension, and 23 per cent had done nothing.

Of those that had accessed their pension, 18 per cent had spent it all and 19 per cent had saved or invested their pension pot. For those who decide to save their pension, 23 per cent put it into a savings account and a further 20 per cent paid their pension into a cash Isa.

Pension pots have largely been spent on home improvements, with 12 per cent using their pension to pay off their mortgage.

Some 39 per cent contacted their provider to access their pension. The same proportion contacted an adviser, but only 25 per cent ended up paying for the advice.

Those that did not take advice said they already had enough information or that they preferred to make their own decisions.

Some 27 per cent said the cost was too expensive.

One in five used the Government-backed Pension Wise guidance service.

Of those who were weighing up whether to access their pension, the proportion who plan to go to their provider for help jumps to 73 per cent.

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association chief executive Joanne Segars says: “Pension freedoms have destroyed the traditional norms leaving a blank canvas for millions of people.

“Our earlier research identified the deadlock that’s been created by uncertain consumer demand and an unstable regulatory environment that raises questions about future liability – these have combined to freeze any development in services to help savers make use of the pension freedoms confidently or fully.

“Someone has to map the new pension freedom territory to allow savers to cross it confidently.”