British savers withdrew £2.3 billion from their pensions in the first three months of the 2018/19 tax year alone, new figures reveal.
It represented a 50 per cent increase on withdrawls made during the first three months of pension freedoms three years ago.
The surge in withdrawals will raise fears that people could be left without enough cash for retirement.
Under the new pension reforms, introduced by former chancellor George Osborne in 2015, allow anyone over the age of 55 to extract as much money as they wish from their retirement pot and either spend it or put it in a savings account.
The latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs found that a total of 574,000 pension payments were made to a record 264,000 people in the second quarter of this year – which totals £2.3 billion.
This compares with £1.9 billion in the same three months last year and £1.7billion in the previous quarter.
Britain’s total pension pot is thought to be worth about £800billion.