Pension freedom withdrawals hit £30bn

A total of £30 billion being withdrawn ‘flexibly’ from pensions, new figures published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show, taking advantage of the “pension freedoms” introduced in 2015. In this quarter, 327,000 individuals withdrew from pensions – up 27% from 258,000 in the same period of 2018. The latest withdrawals statistics is a 3% decrease from 336,000 individuals in the second quarter of this year. Figures show the average amount withdrawn per individual in this quarter of 2019 was £7,250.
This has fallen by 5% compared to last year – which stood at an average withdrawal of £7,600. Since reporting first became mandatory in the second quarter of 2016, average withdrawals have fallen “steadily and consistently”, HMRC said, with peaks in the second quarter of each year. Experts believe that the falling average withdrawal rate suggested that people are thinking carefully about how to spend their hard-earned pension rather than risking retirement ruin with an ill-advised binge.

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