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The amount of money people withdrew from their retirement savings under pension freedoms hit a record high in Q2 2017.

According to figures from HMRC, 200,000 people took out flexible payments worth £1.86 million in the 3 months to 30 June 2017.

This was the largest quarterly withdrawal on record after pension freedoms were introduced in April 2015.

Additional research from Scottish Widows, who polled 2,697 people, found 62% who accessed their funds flexibly were between 55 and 60 years old. 

When asked why they were accessing their pension, the main responses were:

  • 25% “wanted the cash”
  • 11% wanted to pay off debt
  • 9% wanted to make a large purchase, such as a holiday
  • 8% wanted the funds to pay off their mortgage.

Catherine Stewart, retirement planning expert at Scottish Widows, said:

“Whilst it’s good more people are evidently becoming engaged with their pension at a younger age, it’s essential everyone is able to access help and information to make informed choices which are right for their retirement plans.”

Talk to us about your accessing your pension.