Three quarters of savers have had to wait a month or longer to access their pension savings during lockdown, with advisers also experiencing significant delays.

Research from consolidator PensionBee found out that of 961 people aged 55 to 70 surveyed, more than one in five had had to wait more than three months to receive their pension, while 14 per cent could not access their money for five months or more.

The survey, which was carried out in April at the height of lockdown, also found pension provider inefficiency may contribute to unnecessary withdrawals, with 58 per cent of those who considered accessing their pension saying they would be more likely to leave it if there was easy access.

Meanwhile, advisers have faced similar barriers and have noticed providers have been taking longer to respond to their requests.

Andrew Pennie, head of pathways at Intelligent Pensions, said the firm had experienced “significant delays in recent months” from some providers when trying to access pension information.

Mr Pennie said: “Some of these delays are unacceptable and some providers have much to do when it comes to delivering an acceptable and timely service to clients and advisers alike.”

James Sculthorp-Wright, strategic development director at Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, said

According to the research, very few people said their pension provider had contacted them to explain the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on any pension decisions.

Only 10 per cent said they had been contacted by their provider to explain the implications of the pandemic, while only 7 per cent had been prompted to seek financial advice or guidance before entering drawdown.

A mere 11 per cent said they felt well supported by their pension provider to make decisions about their pension during this time.