About the data

Find out more information about our retirement income market data.

Data source

We have collected retirement income data from firms since the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015. For reporting periods up until 31 March 2018, we collected this from a representative sample of around 50 pension provider groups (estimated to cover around 95% of the defined contribution contract-based market at the time we started collecting the data).

For reporting periods from 1 April 2018 onwards, we have collected data from all regulated firms that provide pension and retirement income products. Firms report these using 2 regulatory returns:

REP015 – retirement income flow data, collected twice a year for each 6 month period from the period 1 April to 30 September 2018 onwards.

REP016 – retirement income stock and withdrawals flow data, collected annually at the end of each financial year from the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 onwards.

Basis of the data

The analysis published here reflect the data regulated firms submit to us using the above returns. We have carried out selective quality assurance checks on the data.

The data refer to the number of plans accessed, rather than the number of consumers accessing their plans, as some consumers have multiple pension plans.

Data relating to plans that were fully withdrawn or accessed by partial UFPLS relate to plan holders who had not accessed those plans by any method before the reporting period in question. For plans that entered drawdown or that were used to purchase an annuity, the data reflect all plans accessed by that particular method for the first time, regardless of whether the plan had previously been accessed in other ways.

The notes to the underlying data tables provide further information on the basis of the data in each table.

The data here feature contract-based pension plans only. They do not include trust-based workplace pension schemes or defined benefit schemes, which make up most assets in the workplace pensions savings market.