As the 3rd report in the ‘New Choices, Big Decisions’ series, this study looks at a group of savers who accessed or considered accessing their pension savings in late 2015 and early 2016, following up a year later to see how their circumstances and perspectives have changed.
We contacted participants from the initial ‘New Choices, Big Decisions’ study to explore how their lives have changed over the past 12 months and to understand, with the benefit of hindsight, how they now feel about the choices they’ve made.
The research found that savers who accessed cash from their pension funds using the new pension freedoms don’t regret their decisions, believing the happiness generated from spending the money – on holidays, cars, home improvements and family – far outweighs any benefit from receiving it as a ‘paltry’ income in the future.
It also shows that even where savers are engaged with their pension, decision making can be challenging. Multiple sources of information on what to do can add confusion rather than making the picture clearer – and can lead to some savers just deciding to take action without necessarily thinking about the long term.