Over £9.2bn released by pension freedoms

Hundreds of thousands of savers have cashed in £9.2bn from their pension pots since the government's pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015.

Over 1.5 million payments have been made using pension freedoms, with 162,000 people accessing £1.56bnn flexibly from their pension pots over the last 3 months, according to HMRC figures released today.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said:

"Giving people freedom over what they do with their hard-earned savings, whether it's buying an annuity or taking a cash lump sum, is the right thing to do.We are working with our partners, including Pension Wise, the regulators and pension firms, so that savers have the support they need to understand the options available to them."

People accessing their pensions are also benefiting from the government's free and impartial pension's guidance service, Pension Wise which has had over 3.7 million visits to the website and over 100,000 appointments to date.

Gareth James, pension expert at AJ Bell, comments:

“While it is good to see that the pension freedoms are being utilised by a large number of people, it is dangerous to use the £9.2bn as a measure of success when it doesn’t tell us what people are doing with that money. Are they using it to provide a regular and sustainable income as pensions are designed to do, or are they spending it too quickly and likely to run out of money too quickly?  It is important that the Government carries out a more detailed analysis of how the pension freedoms are being used before any realistic assessment of their success can be made.”

Pensions World is the leading monthly magazine for pensions professionals published by LexisNexis.