View more on these topics

Pension withdrawals hit over £28bn since freedoms began

Steven Cameron

More than £28bn has been withdrawn since the pension freedoms started in April 2015 according to the latest statistics issued by HM Revenue and Customs.

The data from HMRC covers “flexible payments” from pensions, which include full or partial withdrawals, flexible drawdown and buying a flexible annuity.

In this quarter, Q2 2019, £2.75bn was withdrawn from pensions flexibly, a 21 per cent increase from £2.27bn in Q2 2018.

A record 336,000 individuals withdrew from pensions this quarter, a 27 per cent increase from 264,000 in the same quarter last year.

In the release HMRC points out total withdrawals in Q2 are typically larger than in other quarters, as some taxpayers plan their withdrawals around the start of the new tax year.

Previously this has been driven by larger value withdrawals in Q2, but this year this is driven by increased numbers of individuals withdrawing.

The average amount withdrawn per individual in Q2 2019 was £8,200, down from £8,600 in Q2 2018.

Reacting to the figures, Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron says: “Over the last four years the retirement behaviour of over 55s has been significantly influenced by pension freedoms and today’s figures show more people are choosing to access their pension, but increasingly withdrawing a smaller amount when they do.

“With people no longer choosing to retire at a single point in time the freedoms give them the flexibility to transition into retirement by accessing some retirement savings to help support a reduced working pattern.

“Older workers want to be able to plan their retirement on their own terms and the introduction of pensions freedoms enables that by allowing them to reduce their working hours while enjoying more leisure time.”


Ros Altmann

Ros Altmann: Let’s make pensions digital

Amid a political crisis, focus on financial matters has taken a back seat. However, the need for pension reforms remains vital to help achieve good outcomes for the millions of people who, through auto-enrolment, have started paying in to a pension. Imagine a world where, at the click of a button, you can summon up […]

Nine advice firms make latest FSCS default list

Nine of the 11 firms declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme this month are wealth management or advice firms, latest figures show. The newest firms to make the lifeboat fund’s list bring the total number declared in default since mid-May to 26. The FSCS putting a firm into default means the lifeboat […]


SJP in firing line over charges again

St James’s Place has been criticised again over its charges, as new research suggests fees could erode almost half of the returns made by clients. Someone investing a typical £1m pot for 20 years could pay nearly the same amount in charges over the period, according to Candid Financial Advice, which was commissioned by the […]

death benefits pensions

Death benefits: Discretion or direction?

Jim Grant – Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst, Royal London  Jim Grant considers the impact of different approaches to nominating beneficiaries for death benefits. When a pension scheme member dies, the scheme administrator has to pay the death benefits to someone. The process of choosing who the beneficiary(ies) should be can either involve the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm