The present government are making changes to the way that pensioners can use their pension ‘pot’ from 2015. The proposed measures are seen as very radical and revolutionary by some experts in the field.
You used to only be able to access 25% of your pension and up to a limit of 18k on retirement as a lump sum, the balance would be used to purchase an annuity to provide a monthly income; but you will soon be able to access up to 30k regardless if this amount exceeds being 25% of your total pension fund.
I think what the government are trying to achieve is giving the individual more power to control their own investments and to place less reliance on middlemen like fund managers and financial advisers that charge commissions for their services.
Read about these proposed changes on the HMRC website.