Pension freedoms: The story so far in numbers

Age 55 People with defined contribution schemes can take their entire pension pot as cash at age 55 from April. Shares in annuities provider Partnership Assurance fell by 55% on Budget day amid concerns that the reforms signal the end of annuities. Just Retirement shares fell by 42%.

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18 Months Analysts at Barclays predicted the demise of the individual annuity market within 18 months the day after Chancellor George Osborne’s “political masterstroke”. But pensions minister Steve Webb disagreed, saying the reforms will jolt insurers into creating new products.

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1 Year LV= and Just Retirement rushed out one-year fixed-term annuities in April, aimed at people retiring now who want to take advantage of the reforms. Opinion within the industry was divided: supporters said these products meet a short-term need while critics argued they are expensive.

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63% Research from PricewaterhouseCoopers in April found 63% of respondents to its survey would pay for advice on accessing their pension at retirement but half of those had pension pots worth £40,000 or less.

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£13m In May,the Association of British Insurers estimated the guidance guarantee could cost the industry up to £13m a year to deliver.

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£3.8bn Government projections published in August show 130,000 people a year are expected to use the new pension freedoms, resulting in an extra £3.8bn for the Treasury.

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£10k In August, the Government also announced its intention to lower the annual allowance from £40,000 to £10,000 for people who access their pension pots. This is intended to prevent people “recycling” pension cash and effectively making money from tax relief under the new regime.

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Age 75 In September, George Osborne announced the abolition of the 55% tax on death for pensions taken before age 75. But Treasury documents created confusion over whether annuities were included and some annuity provider share prices dropped as a result. December’s Autumn statement announced there would be no income tax payable on annuity income received by surviving spouses upon death before 75.

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59% Individual annuity sales at Just Retirement fell by 59% in the three months to September compared with the same period last year.

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30% In October, pensions actuary Hymans Robertson predicted a 30% take-up of transfers from DB to DC schemes on the back of the new pension flexibilities.

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£50k In November, the FCA highlighted what it saw as the risk of drawdown for those with pension pots worth less than £50,000. But this contradicted the Treasury’s stance of widening the options for everyone.

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£730m Government estimates in December reveal the Treasury is set to lose £50m in 2015/16 and £730m by 2019/20 as a result of changes to the pensions death tax.

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