The pension reforms in April 2015 brought about significant changes in the way consumers can access their pensions. The Retirement Income Market Data monitor trends in the retirement income market since the pension reforms.
Trends in the retirement income market – October to March 2018
Our latest analysis of the retirement income market and the underlying data tables are available below.
- Our latest data for the second half of financial year 2017/18 show that more than 272,000 pension pots were accessed – comparable to the same period in financial year 2016/17.
- The data show that there has been a 9% fall in the number of pots accessed as full cash withdrawals compared to the same period in financial year 2016/17.
- Sales of drawdown products continue to grow at a faster rate compared to traditional annuity solutions. They are up 8% in the second half of 2017/18 from the same period in 2016/17, compared to a 1% increase in annuity sales.
- The proportion of full cash withdrawals and annuity plans sold with advice in the second half of 2017/18 fell to its lowest rate since the second half of 2015/16.
We collect data from a sample of retirement income providers – over 50 firms - so we can track and monitor changes in the market. We estimate the survey covered 95% of defined contribution contract-based pension scheme assets when it was first introduced in 2015. This is likely to have changed with developments in the market. It does not include trust-based occupational pension schemes or defined benefit schemes.
Using the data we can track what action consumers take the first time they access a pension pot. The data refer to the number of pots accessed rather than the number of consumers accessing their pots. Consumers may have multiple pension pots.
We publish the Retirement Income Market Data every six months to monitor and assess the impact of the pension reforms.
What is included in the data
The data we publish includes:
- the number of pots accessed by product type
- product choices by pot size and age
- consumer behaviour with regard to retirement choices
The data request will be replaced from October 2018 by two regulatory data returns (REP015 and REP016). This will happen after the data collection for the period 1 October 2017 – 31 March 2018. We have changed the format of the latest data request and the information collected to match the format of the new mandatory returns via GABRIEL.
- REP015 – retirement income flow data, collected twice a year for each six month period and to be introduced for the period 1 April to 30 September 2018 (reported from 1 October 2018)
- REP016 – retirement income stock and withdrawals flow data, collected annually at the end of each financial year, to be introduced for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 (reported from 1 April 2019)
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