UK Pension Freedoms. Did they all buy Lamborghini’s?!!


UK Pension Freedom. Did they all buy Lamborghini’s?!!

When George Osborne introduced the “pension freedom rules“in April 2015 his pensions Minister at the time Steve Webb fuelled the freedoms debate by suggesting that “people could use the money to buy a Lamborghini if they wished“

Since that time both the politicians have departed, with their pensions, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been trying to build a picture of consumer behaviour and have been assisted by a research paper conducted on behalf of pension advisers A J Bell.


The research, released on 26th of June 2018 surveyed 370 people who have accessed their pension flexibility since April 2015.  In total the FCA estimate that £17.5 billion has been accessed since the freedoms were introduced the following table gives an overview of where and how the money was spent or invested and despite concerns that some of the money would be squandered on boozing and gambling, only 245 million pounds had been spent on entertainment such as eating out, season tickets and gambling


 £4.7 billion Has been spent on day-to-day living
£3 billion Is in low yielding bank accounts with investors facing the ‘double jeopardy’ of tax on withdrawals and low returns
£2.9 billion Has been used to pay off debt and reduce interest payments
£2.3 billion Has gone on luxury items such as holidays, cars and home improvements
£1.6 billion Has been withdrawn from pensions to invest in other products such as ISAs
£1.2 billion Has been used to help people’s children
£1 billion The buy-to-let market has had a £1bn injection over the past three years with many people using pension withdrawals to invest in property (buy-to-let)
£245 million Has been spent on entertainment such as eating out, season tickets or gambling
£60 million Has been used to pay for care
£500 million Other
£17.5 billion Total


A whopping £2.3 billion pounds however has been spent on luxury items such as holiday’s cars and home improvements.  On the more positive side, £2.9 billion has been used to pay off debts and reduce interest payments.  One of the research key findings was that despite pensions being designed to provide income in later years only a quarter £4 .7 billion of withdrawals had been used to fund day-to-day living


Here at International Pension Transfer Consultants Ltd we are surprised to see that £3 billion that has been flexibly withdrawn is currently sitting in low yield bank accounts. Our advice for clients is to select a Regulated Investment Advisor who will help you determine your “risk profile“ and guide you through an investment strategy that will be designed to generate achievable long-term investment returns commensurate with your objectives , age and life expectancy

So if you would like to talk to a qualified professional in relation to your final salary pension scheme in the UK then you can contact us at our headquarters in Dublin either at International Pension Transfer Consultants Ltd where we can discuss a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme (Q)ROPS with you and in the alternative if you would like to be advised on using an Irish regulated product with an Irish based regulated institution we can provide that advice with our sister company Windsor Wealth Management Limited trading as


Please do contact us by telephone or email at the addresses listed below and take the first step and taking control of your own pension fund


Johnny Mulholland

International Pension Transfer Consultants Limited

29 Windsor Place, Dublin 2, Ireland

Tel 00353 1 6815293

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