Retirement Income Market Data

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 – April to September 2017

Our latest analysis of the retirement income market and the underlying data tables are available below.

Show Data Bulletin: March 2018 (PDF)

Download Data Bulletin: March 2018 – underlying data (XLSX)

Latest findings

  • Around 300,000 pension pots have been accessed for the first time every six months since the pension freedoms were introduced.
  • Our market data show that more than half of all pension pots accessed are full cash withdrawals, but The Financial Lives Survey shows that only 17% of adults say that they have fully withdrawn their pension in the last two years.
  • Since the pension freedoms, twice as many pots have entered drawdown than annuities. 30% of pots accessed since October 2015 have gone into drawdown and 12% taken as an annuity. 

Key information

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

Reporting changes

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.

GABRIEL is our online system for collecting and storing regulatory data from firms. See policy statement 17/16 for more details:

  • 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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If you have suggestions for data you would like to see included, please email us at [email protected].

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