Flexible savers value regular income from state pension

The vast majority of over 55s who have used pension freedoms to access their private pensions would prefer to draw a regular lifetime income from the state pension, rather than take the state pension as a lump sum — if the option to do so was available.

A survey run by Canada Life has revealed that only 8 per cent of the over 55s would choose to take the state pension as a lump sum at retirement if they could.

The overwhelming majority (83 per cent) of over 55s want the state pension to produce a monthly income for life, while 9 per cent are not sure as to what they would do given the choice.

Canada Life said this attitude is in stark contrast to how people access their private pensions, where the majority prefer the flexibility of income drawdown over the certainty of an annuity.

Commenting on the research, Canada Life UK technical director, Andrew Tully, said: “Of course the option to take the state pension as a one off cash sum is not available, but the research does show how people place a value on a regular income, whether that be to pay the bills or simply provide peace of mind.

“Drawing comparisons with pension freedoms is interesting as we know there has been a significant shift away from annuities towards income drawdown over the past four years.”

He added that people should not view an annuity and income drawdown as a binary choice, as they can blend drawdown and annuities to get the “best of both worlds” in terms of security and flexibility.

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