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Three in four Britons not seeking official advice when taking pension early

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More than £6 billion has been paid out from pension savings since last year’s freedom and choice act, but the HMRC has revealed that less than a quarter of Britons are seeking official advice before withdrawing.

The figures show that almost 232,000 people withdrew from their pension savings between April 2015 and March 2016, with that figure set to grow each year.

However, just 58,000 – or one in four – had sought official advice before withdrawing, the HMRC report shows.

Speaking on the success of the scheme, Simon Kirby, economic secretary to HM Treasury, said: “It is only right that people should have a choice over what they do with their money and today’s figures show that pension freedoms continue to be a popular choice”.

In the second quarter of 2016 alone, £1.7 billion was paid out to over 159,000 people, HMRC figures show.

“Our pension reforms have already given hundreds of thousands of people access and responsibility over their hard-earned savings and we will continue to make sure that the pension freedoms work well for everyone”, said Mr Kirby.

He added: “We will work with our partners, such as Pension Wise and the Department for Work & Pensions, to ensure consumers are protected and that there is clear information to help people understand their options”.

Last year’s historic shake-up saw the Government open up pension savings for people over the age of 55, to reflect the varying needs of retirement.

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