UK: Pension Freedoms to face their peak test in 2020

New population data released today* shows that the new pension freedoms will face their peak test in the coming five years.

The most populous age-group in the UK today is those aged 51 – a total of 945,000 people. ‎This group will gain access to the pension freedoms in 2020. This year will test if the new retirement rule of "no rules" will offer people a better financial future.

Commenting on today’s data, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva said:

“Aviva supports the pension freedoms. We believe people should be trusted with their own money, but we also recognise the need for support and guidance in helping people make the right decisions about their financial future.

“In the tax year 2016/17, 393,000 individuals took advantage of the freedoms across the UK, withdrawing £6.45 billion from their pensions.1 As the number of people reaching the age of 55 in the coming five years peaks – at 945,000 in 2020 – the pension freedoms will face their greatest test on whether they can offer a sustainable financial future.

“Recent government research identified that only one-in-three (34%) people in the 45-to-54 age group had given any consideration to how many years of retirement they may need to fund.2  Entering the arena of the pension freedoms without serious consideration of future needs could spell trouble for many savers.

“Aviva supports the government-backed Pension Wise service as a vehicle for helping those engaging with the pension freedoms. There have been over four million visits to the Pension Wise website since it was launched.3 This is encouraging, but there is no room for complacency. 

“Aviva is also supporting its customers with financial education and online tools. Our Retirement Planner tool freely helps people plan the retirement savings and consider their options. It has been used over 200,000 times since it was introduced. 

"We will continue to support our customers, helping them to make the most of their money in retirement.”


Media Enquiries:

Fiona Whytock, Senior Media Relations Manager, T: +44 (0)7800 692299 E:  

Notes to editors:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
  • By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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