Pensions withdrawals reached £5.7bn in 2017

Pension withdrawals through drawdown or cash withdrawals totalled £5.7bn in 2017, new data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed.

In its key facts document, ABI found that 102,000 new contracts had been agreed to invest a total of £9.2bn in drawdown products, at an average investment of nearly £90,000.

This compares to £6.5bn and 85,000 contracts sold in 2016.

A total of of 6.7m pension annuities were in force in 2017, with £14.7bn in payments made.

Furthermore, there were 69,000 annuity sales, down from 75,000 in 2016, although the total value of annuity sales increased slightly to £4.4bn.

ABI's research found that 48 per cent of those annuities were bought from an existing provider.

In total, £16bn was paid through investment and savings product contracts.

Commenting on the document, ABI director general, Huw Evans commented: “This data reminds us that insurers and long-term savings providers pay hundreds of millions of pounds every day to get things back on track and to support people in their retirement.

“Our sector is helping Britain thrive and remains a key part of a prosperous and financially resilient economy.”

The document also revealed that, in 2017, there were 23.9m workplace pension policies, making up half of all individual pension policies.

Additionally, the effects of auto-enrolment were evident, as 73 per cent of workers were contributing to a workplace pension in 2017, up from 68 per cent in 2016.

ABI's data also found that 21.2m employees were members of qualifying schemes by the end of July 2018, with 9.9m of those automatically enrolled.

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