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People using pension cash freedoms at record number

A record number of people used the new freedoms to take part of their pension in cash in 2018-19, but pensions firm Aegon has said this was with some caution as lower average amounts were withdrawn.


1 MAY 2019 | MARK SMULIAN
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Greater flexibility with pension savings ©Shutterstock


Aegon’s pension director Steven Cameron said the tax year just ended saw 539,000 people take a payment. This brought the total since reforms to the system four years ago to 1.1m, involving £25.62bn in all.

He said the retirement landscape was “now almost unrecognisable” from where it was before inception in 2015. 

“Individuals now have much more control over their pension savings, including allowing those looking for a more gradual transition into retirement the chance to work, combining reduced hours with part pension as they approach or move beyond traditional retirement age.”

The average taken out did fall to £3,358 however, against £3,713 for 2017-18 and £8,430 in the scheme’s first year.

Cameron said: “This is encouraging, as with greater flexibility comes greater responsibility and the freedoms have also introduced an increased risk.”

Many people are concerned not to overspend in case their pension pot were to run dry part-way through retirement, he noted.


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