Pensions are down 14 per cent since the beginning of the year after a plummeting stock market cut their value. The effect of falling share prices and annuity rates means an average personal pension pot for 65-year-olds has dropped in value to £91,840. And the prospective annuity income – the amount of annual pension they can obtain for any set sum of money – has fallen from £6,497 to £5,571, the Hargreaves Lansdown figures show. According to financial adviser Billy Burrows of the Better Retirement Group, for every £100,000 invested the annuity income has fallen on average by as much as £360 a year, or six per cent, since July 2011. “Those approaching retirement will find themselves between a rock and hard place,” he said. “Those who have not seen the value of their pension pots fall over the last few months may wish to buy an annuity because even though rates have fallen there are still some reasonably good rates around.” He added: “Those who have suffered the double whammy of falling pension pots and falling annuity rates are in a more difficult position and perhaps some type of phased or flexible approach to retirement should be considered.” Isas have also been hit. An average shares Individual Savings Account of £10,000 at the start of the year would now be worth £8,778, a 12.2 per cent fall, according to financial information service Moneyfacts.