The successes and failures of the radical overhaul made to Britain's pension regime in 2015 are coming to light as a committee of MPs calls for evidence in an effort to ascertain whether the "freedoms" are working.

Finance professionals, charities and members of the public have submitted views to the Work and Pensions Committee's "Pension Freedoms Inquiry". The evidence paints a broad picture of how the reforms are being used.

The freedoms were introduced two years ago and allow those over the age of 55 to take their entire pension pot as a lump sum, with the first 25 per cent tax-free as usual and the rest taxed as if it were income.

Before the reforms, the vast majority of pensioners would purchase an annuity which guaranteed an income for life. The reforms were announced in 2014 and effective from April 2015, since when hundreds of thousands have accessed their pot.

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George Osborne, the chancellor at the time, described the move as creating choice and freedom as to how pensioners receive their money, but some voiced concern over how the money would be used. Now written evidence to the committee paints the clearest picture so far of what people are doing with their cash.

There are horror stories...

The most alarming evidence came from Pamela Hewitt, who drew her submission from her experience working as a welfare benefits officer for a social landlord.

One of her clients spent £120,000 (NZ$229,000) of his pension pot on "gambling, a car and alcohol", she said. Hewitt wrote that this individual had held a lucrative engineering job until he was made redundant, his house was repossessed and he fell into a spiral of depression.

His benefits had been stopped due to his savings, including a pension, but once this was investigated it was discovered he had spent all the money. He later released a further £20,000 from his pot against the advice of his accountant.

Ms Hewitt writes that his pot was originally worth £250,000 and the man had drawn on as much as possible, paying very high rates of tax in the process.

She continues that he had been suffering through a period of ill mental health.

"If Mr A had not been able to access his pension pot I can only assume that the years leading up to retirement would have been more stable, as prior to him having access, and following his having spent it all, he has been a stable and ideal tenant," she wrote.

"I think he chose to spend his money, not to take advantage of the benefit system, but because he didn't care what happened to him, had addiction issues and knew there would eventually be a safety net."

A senior local authority official warned that councils could use "deprivation of capital" rules to block benefits payments for people who choose to deplete their entire pension pots intentionally in this manner. This could create huge burdens on charities and Government.

Hewitt recommended that advisers be obliged to inform clients considering taking their cash of the deprivation of capital rules.

...but many people have benefited

One man, who withheld his name, told the inquiry he had boosted his projected retirement income by using his pot to purchase a small property to rent on Airbnb. The 60-year-old had a relatively modest pot of £46,000 which he withdrew a year ago.

He bought a "shepherd's hut" and earned an income of £6,000 last year. He told the inquiry his pot would have purchased an annuity worth £1,600 a year so his projected retirement income has gone from £14,744 to £18,769 - a 30 per cent increase.

"Pension provider (Aviva) were fine - very professional about checking I had taken advice before drawing down. No pressure from anyone," he wrote.

"No one contacted me to sell me any risky investments. This is the only decent thing George Osborne ever did."

Savers can also use the freedoms to assist with prudent tax planning.

Another person, who also withheld their name, took a portion of his pension pot early in order to get round the "lifetime allowance" for his pension. He said once investment growth was taken into account his pot was likely to breach the allowance within five years.

Taking the money warded off this possibility, as the value is calculated at certain "crystallisation" events. He used the money to buy a boat.

The pension freedoms tax glitch

One downside which also comes out in submissions to the committee is a tax glitch which has left tens of thousands waiting for their money.

Because HM Revenue & Customs calculates income tax liability on a monthly basis, those taking a large lump sum have been taxed at the higher rate, even if they will have no other income for the rest of the year. This has meant they have been forced to wait for months to get their money back.

Telegraph Money has campaigned for this issue to be fixed. The man who bought the shepherd's hut said he had been forced to pay higher tax and said his experience with HMRC had been "the only negative throughout the entire process".