One point I would like to pick up on following my discussion with Victoria Derbyshire earlier today on BBC Radio 5 Live, is the fact that although we have all been given the flexibility to withdraw our pension plans in one go, there is not any requirement to do so. In fact, for most individuals, this will do nothing more than land them with a large (and unnecessary) tax bill.
There is an argument to take the whole of a pension pot if you have a specific plan to spend the money, don’t have any other more tax efficient funds to spend, and have sufficient income to live off in retirement.
What is worrying however, is that some people seem to want to withdraw the whole pot, with no specific plan to spend it and then invest the money in a bank account or other investment. The problem here is that you will be removing money from a tax efficient environment (in the form of a pension), paying tax on the proceeds, and then investing the money in a potentially taxable home. This hardly seems like efficient tax planning.
Individuals should be aware that there is no obligation to take all of your pension fund in one go. In fact, you can simply withdraw what you need, and leave the remainder sitting in a nice tax efficient home, until such time as it is required. For many, this will be a far more sensible option than (not) spending it all at once.