Just 7% would take pension pot as lump sum

Just 7% of respondents would take 100% of their pension savings as a lump sum, according to research by Friends Life.


Its research, which surveyed 2,000 UK employees, found that the average amount respondents would release at retirement is 33%.

Pension reforms announced in the 2014 Budget allow greater flexibility in the way employees retiring with defined contribution (DC) pension schemes can take their savings.

The research found that 25% of respondents would consider taking 50% or more of their pension pot as cash at retirement, while 24% of respondents plan to reinvest the money, making it critical to access the information and support they need to make informed decisions.

Nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents are most likely to reinvest in the new individual savings account that will come in from 1 July, while 21% would reinvest in buy-to-let property and 14% would reinvest in stocks and bonds.

Some 28% of respondents are struggling to understand the new financial freedom set out in the Budget and do not know where or how they will reinvest the money released from their pension pot.

David Still (pictured), managing director, retirement income at Friends Life, said: “While, from next year, retirees could spend all of their pension savings in one go, our research shows securing long-term financial security remains the most important consideration for the vast majority of people.

“Managing money to ensure it lasts throughout retirement is hugely important and our research suggests that people understand they have to be responsible for their future.

“To be as prepared as possible, people should ensure they seek guidance and thoroughly investigate all their options.

“Retirees now face a huge range of options. We’ve found that while this is refreshing for some, for others the changes and increased choice have created confusion over what the best course of action should be.

“We encourage people to seek guidance on what their options are to ensure they are in a position to make an informed decision.”