Sunday 3 April 2016 5:06 pm

Over 55s undecided on whether pension freedoms are actually any good

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

One year on from the introduction of pension freedoms, the jury's still out on whether or not they are actually any good, a report released today has found.

The survey by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) found that, while 44 per cent of over 55s thought that the introduction of pension freedoms last April had been a positive step forward, 29 per cent saw their introduction as a negative.

Around a quarter (23 per cent) said they did not view the introduction of pension freedoms, which allow those aged over 55 to access their pension without purchasing an annuity, as either a good or bad thing, while five per cent said they were not sure.

Read more: The public is still "confused" over the state pension changes

Sentiment towards the freedoms lowers with age with just 37 per cent of those aged over 65 viewing the reforms in a positive light.

People are also still feeling uneasy about how they'll be funding their golden years, with only one out of five (21 per cent) of those surveyed believing their DC pension and state pension combined would keep them comfortable throughout their retirement.

Calling the proportion of those who did not feel confident about their finances for their future years "worrying", Fiona Morrison, president of the IFoA, added: "This should be a red flag to policy makers who have been looking at how to incentivise people to save for their retirement. It clearly shows more needs to be done here to reduce the risk that people use up their savings too quickly in retirement and then have to fall back on the State for support."

Read more: Spring cleaning: Seven ways to sort out your finances

Meanwhile, of those polled by the IFoA, just five per cent said they had dipped into the defined contribution (DC) pension pot since the freedoms came into force almost a year ago. The main reason given by those who had left their savings untouched was that they had no need to access their pension just yet. 

Similarly, a report released in January by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association found little evidence that over 55s had splashing their pension pots on Lamborghinis and a lifestyle beyond their means.