29 Apr 2016
232,000 individuals have withdrawn an overall total of £4.3 billion from their pension pots since the introduction of new pension rules a year ago, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data has revealed.
In the initial three months of 2016, 74,000 people withdrew a total of £820 million from their pension savings.
The latest figures are inclusive of those taking flexible incomes from their pension pot, and individuals purchasing annuities.
Since 6 April 2015, retirees aged 55 or over have been able to withdraw up to 100% of their pension pot, subject to income tax.
Previously, savers have had to pay a 55% tax charge.
Retirees are now able to withdraw all the funds at once, or can take savings out as permitted by their pension provider.
However, the latest figures are lower than previous Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates: the FCA had revealed that 179,000 people withdrew money from their pension pot during the third quarter of 2015 alone.
These lower figures may be due to under-reporting to HMRC.
Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, stated: ‘It’s only right that people should have a choice over what they do with their money and in their first year our successful pension freedoms have already given thousands of people access and responsibility over their hard-earned savings’.