News story

Britain’s pension revolution goes from strength to strength

Hundreds of thousands of savers take advantage of the government’s landmark pension freedoms.

Pension pot

In April 2015, the government introduced the most significant pension reforms for a generation, giving people who’ve worked hard and saved their entire lives the ability to access their savings how and when they want.

Today (28 July 2016) new HMRC figures show more and more people are taking advantage of the new freedoms, with 159,000 people having accessed £1.7 billion flexibly from their pension pots since April this year. This take the total value of payments to over £6 billion across 772,000 payments since the launch of the pension freedoms.

People accessing their pensions are also benefitting from the government’s free and impartial pension’s guidance service, Pension Wise, which has already had over 2.7 million visits to the website and nearly 75,000 appointments to date. Pension Wise was set up to ensure consumer have the right information they need to make informed decisions.

The government has also announced plans to protect consumers by capping early exit fees, allowing earlier access to Pension Wise guidance, and working with industry to introduce a pensions dashboard.

In April 2015, the government introduced the most significant pension reforms for a generation, giving people who’ve worked hard and saved their entire lives the ability to access their savings how and when they want.

The government is extending the popular freedoms even further, giving millions more people the ability to sell income from their annuities from April 2017, subject to agreement from their annuity provider.

The government believe that keeping their annuity incomes will be the best option for the majority of people, however, people should have the right to make the decision that is best for them. Pension Wise will have a key role to play in giving people information and guidance to make their decision.

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

It’s only right that people should have a choice over what they do with their money and today’s figures show that pension freedoms continue to be a popular choice.

Our pension reforms have already given hundreds of thousands of people access and responsibility over their hard-earned savings and we will continue to make sure that the pension freedoms work well for everyone.

We will work with our partners, such as Pension Wise and the Department for Work and Pensions, to ensure consumers are protected and that there is clear information to help people understand their options.

Published 28 July 2016