Business

Fewer pensions cashed in over winter

Notes and coins Image copyright PA

The appetite for people to take their pension savings as cash waned at the end of the year, according to the City watchdog.

Between October and December 65,610 people made full cash withdrawals, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said, a 42% fall from the previous quarter.

Rules allow those aged 55 and over to have full access to their pension pots with the first 25% tax free.

The FCA collects data from providers covering about 95% of the sector.

Income

A total of 127,094 of pensions were accessed for the first time - either partially drawn down as an income or taken totally in cash in the final three months of 2015. This was a 36% decrease from the previous quarter.

The figures also showed customers aged 55 to 59 had the highest rate of withdrawals as a percentage of their pension pot. Some 11% of this age group took an income of 10% or more of their pot.

A Panorama investigation earlier this week found that some companies are exploiting new pension freedom rules to get access to pension savings.

Undercover footage showed one unregulated consultant giving advice and suggesting high risk investments.

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