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Fears of mass pension fund withdrawal overblown, finds research

Cherry Reynard
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Cherry Reynard

Savers are planning to withdraw an average £27,000 from their retirement fund this year, says a study commissioned by financial and technology services firm True Potential.

This suggests fears of a mass clearing out of retirement pots in the wake of this month’s introduction of new pension freedoms may be overblown, says the group.

The study showed savers plan to take an average £26,979 from their funds in the 2015/16 tax year. Only eight per cent of savers plan to withdraw their entire pension in one lump sum following the changes.

Meanwhile, of those savers who plan to change the way they access their pension as a result of the changes, 53 per cent say they have no plans for any withdrawals this tax year.

David Harrison, managing partner at True Potential, said: “With pension freedoms now in place, many savers look set to take advantage of them. Our research shows that on average, savers will take almost £27,000 from their total pension fund this year. For some people that will be a tax free lump sum while for others it will mean drawdown from the remainder.

“Giving people the option to decide when they drawdown from their pension and by how much is a positive step as long as they are aware of the effects on the overall fund. There have been many scare stories about people exhausting all of their savings in one go. These figures show that this is unlikely to happen. Instead people can approach retirement with new options and aspirations versus the constraints of a fixed, usually poor-performing, annuity.”