Savers withdrew £1.7bn using the pension freedoms in the first quarter of this year, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs.
There were 500,000 payments made to 222,000 people over the period which takes the total amount of money withdrawn since the pension freedoms started in April 2015 to £17.5bn.
The data from HMRC covers “flexible payments” from pensions, which include full or partial withdrawals, flexible drawdown and buying a flexible annuity.
AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “Three years on from the launch of the pension freedoms we are beginning to get a clearer picture of how savers are using the flexibilities.
He adds: “Average withdrawals per quarter ticked up slightly but remain well below the levels seen in the first 12 months. While there are signs some people may be taking too much too soon from their retirement pots, there is no clear evidence this is a widespread problem.”
Just Group communications director Stephen Lowe says people should be cautious about reading too much into the figures as they are not comprehensive.
He adds: “We know from other sources that the over 55s are taking large amounts of tax-free cash using flexi-access drawdown which is not included in the data reported, and nor is the tax-free cash element of uncrystallised lump sums.
“On top of this, purchases of guaranteed income for life solutions and any withdrawal from pre-2015 capped drawdown accounts are not included.”