A fifth of over-55s would access pension for ‘control’ - PensionBee

A fifth (20 per cent) of over-55s would withdraw their pension for ‘control’ over their savings, which often means moving to investments such as savings accounts, according to PensionBee.

The survey of pension savers aged between 55 and 70 found that almost a third (32 per cent) said they would withdraw their money due to concerns about the pension falling in value, while 12 per cent would withdraw it because they felt pressure to do something with it.

The online pension provider noted that a further 17 per cent said they would withdraw their pension to meet day-to-day expenses, while also two-fifths (40 per cent) of those surveyed said they would withdraw from their pensions if they became unemployed.

PensionBee chief executive, Romi Savova, said: “With so many savers accessing their pensions to feel more in control, as the effects of coronavirus continue to bite, there’s an increased risk of more and more savers using money already withdrawn from their pensions to cover their day-to-day spending needs.”

Just over a third (35 per cent) of respondents said they did not know how to find out about the amount they could expect to receive in retirement.

Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of those surveyed said they had not been asked what they want to do with their pensions by their pension provider in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just over half (52 per cent) of respondents had given due consideration to how they would manage throughout their retirement, despite already reaching the age at which they could enter non-advised drawdown should they wish.

Savova commented: “It’s imperative that pension providers help their customers develop a sustainable withdrawal strategy and caution against spending their retirement savings on unnecessary expenses and even plastic surgery, as recently reported in Australia.

“Without intervention from providers, who are best-placed to incorporate guidance into their service, there’s a very real risk that savers could outlive their pensions.”

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