Nearly half of over 55s have no plans on accessing pension

Almost half of private pension holders approaching retirement age have no plans about how to access their savings, according to data from Canada Life.

The research found that 49 per cent of over 55s didn’t know what benefits they want to take when they first access their pension pot.

A quarter (25 per cent) of the age group planned to take a tax-free lump sum and draw an income, while 16 per cent wanted to take a lump sum and leave the rest of their funds in a pension.

Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully, said: “Pensions can be a complicated area of financial planning, and none more so than when you are considering your options at-retirement.

"That might explain how nearly half of our respondents were unsure or didn’t know how they were going to access their pension for the first time.”

Tully added that people adopting this kind of 'DIY approach' to accessing their pension ran the risk of falling foul of annual allowance rules or paying more tax than necessary.

A small amount (3 per cent) of the over 55s had plans to cash in all of their pension schemes when they first access them, while 6 per cent said they intended to drain everything from one of their smaller pensions.

The data was gathered from 2,000 UK adults by Opinium, including 1,222 over 55s with a private pension.

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