The Government has signalled that it is no longer considering allowing early access to pension savings (through, for example, an ability to make withdrawals from an age below 55 in hardship cases as is allowed in the U.S. and Australia).

The Government’s argument for not allowing early access when other countries do is that it is more logical to allow early access in those countries where auto-enrolment already takes place. The concession therefore for auto-enrolling people in pension schemes is that they can then draw some of those benefits early in extreme circumstances.

On that basis, the Government have said that they may revisit this once the new auto-enrolment duties (see main item above) are fully in place.