Pension Freedom 

More than £3.2bn taken out of pensions without advice

More than £3.2bn taken out of pensions without advice

More than £3.2bn has been accessed as a lump sum from pension pots without any financial advice, research has revealed.

According to analysis from Saga, which polled 2,000 UK adults, one in seven (14 per cent) retirees accessed their pension pots without advice.

Considering recent data from HM Revenue & Customs which revealed that savers have accessed around £23.6bn through pension freedoms since these reforms were introduced, the over-50s provider concluded that these lump sum withdrawals represent more than £3.2bn.

Saga's research also revealed that awareness of pension freedoms remains very limited with the majority (84 per cent) of UK adults in the dark about the new rules.

Nevertheless, understanding of the rules was greater among retirees, with nearly a fifth (19 per cent) knowing what pension freedoms are.

Attitudes towards advice showed that one in 10 of respondents, would consider, or have relied on, advice from friends, family members and colleagues to inform their financial decisions – not a trained professional.

A further 12 per cent say they would not take any advice, professional or non-professional, despite considering taking a lump sum from their pension savings in the future.  

According to Jeff Bromage, Saga Money managing director, "obtaining advice from an independent financial adviser can cost a significant amount, which can put people off and therefore is an option only the more financially secure are prepared to pay for".

He added: "However, this advice often ends up saving people more than it costs and will lead to a more secure financial future and ultimately a decrease in the number of vulnerable savers."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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