Andrew Tully comments on the FCA retirement income market data

The FCA today released its retirement income data for 2022/23 (Retirement income market data 2022/23 | FCA).

A summary of the data is detailed in the table below.

2021/22 2022/23
Number of plans Monetary value (£000) Number of plans Monetary value (£000)
Total pots accessed for first time 705,661 45,638,188 739,535 43,199,189
Annuities purchased 60,574 5,153,150 59,163 4,060,947
New drawdown policies entered into and not fully withdrawn 205,641 31,794,619 218,074 29,867,353
Pots where first partial UFPLS payment taken and not fully withdrawn 36,271 3,693,212 41,571 4,002,707
Full cash withdrawals from pots being accessed for first time* 395,235 4,997,207 420,727 5,268,182

It shows:

  • Slightly more pots (4.9% higher) were accessed for the first time in 2022/23 than in 2021/22 (739,535 vs 705,661).
  • However the monetary value was down, suggesting more people took out slightly lower value withdrawals.
  • The percentage of customers using the different solutions has remained broadly constant.
  • In monetary terms the majority of funds go into drawdown.
  • In customer numbers most take full cash withdrawals.
  • Sales of annuities fell slightly, which is probably a surprise given rates have generally been good.
  • The number of DB transfers continued to fall.

Andrew Tully, Technical Services Director at Nucleus Financial, said: “The effects of the cost-of-living crisis will unfortunately be felt for years to come, so it’s no surprise to see greater numbers of people making withdrawals from pensions than in the previous tax year. We have recently conducted some consumer research which revealed that 74% of UK adults cite ‘affordability’ as one of the issues that negatively affects their retirement confidence. That figure rises to 81% of those aged between 45-54. Many people need to access their pension while still working to pay unexpected bills or help wider family.

“Drawdown will remain the key retirement solution for many as it gives the flexibility to cope with changing needs in retirement. Given the ongoing freezing of the tax thresholds, being able to vary income to ensure it is taken as tax efficiently as possible is a key benefit. The increase in advised annuity sales isn’t a surprise given the significantly higher rates. But blending drawdown with a guaranteed income may give a better outcome than solely using an annuity.

“Given the range of retirement options available, it is important consumers get good advice at the point they first access their pensions savings and on an ongoing basis to work out the best options for their individual circumstances.

“Drawdown advice can be complex, covering areas such as the sustainability over a long time period; the ideal investment options; and tax advice, including how to pass on wealth efficiently to family. Advisers need to be clearly documenting their advice as that is one of the areas the FCA focused on during its retirement income advice review.”


Linda Harper
Head of Public Relations - Nucleus Financial Platforms group
T: +44 (0) 7876 145309

Notes to editors:

The Nucleus Financial Platforms group offers investment platforms and products exclusively to financial advisers, that ultimately help make retirement more rewarding.
Renowned for its SIPP expertise, James Hay Partnership has been working with larger financial advisory groups for more than 40 years, providing the means to administer pensions, savings and investments in a cost and tax efficient way.
Our award-winning platform Nucleus was founded in 2006 by advisers committed to altering the balance of power in the industry by putting the customer centre stage.
Curtis Banks is one of the UK’s largest administrators of SIPP and SSAS solutions for customers and businesses. It is one of Europe’s largest commercial property landlords, a specialist area for self invested pensions. The business maintains a focus on providing high levels of technical support, robust service, modern technology and innovation.
Together we’re one of the UK’s leading, independent, adviser platform and product groups, with approximately £83 billion in assets under administration, helping nearly 5,000 advisers make retirement more rewarding for almost 250,000 customers.
To find out more visit: