In 1911, American union leaders including Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor expressed opposition to lump sums being awarded to their members pursuant to a new workers compensation law, saying that when they received lump sums rather than periodic payments the risk of them squandering the money was greater.
USA Today reported in 2003 that experts said that retirees tend to handle lump sum payments to them by either being overly frugal, or alternatively by using a lot of the lump sum payment quickly for travel and big-ticket items.
The Financial Times reported in July 2011 that research by Prudential had found that 79% of polled pensioners collecting a company or private pension that year took a lump sum at their retirement, as compared to 76% in 2008. Prudential was of the view that for many retirees, a lump sum at the time of retirement was the most tax-efficient option. However, Prudential's head of business development, Vince Smith Hughes, said "some pensioners are beginning to regret the way they used the tax-free cash. The days of buying a shiny new car or going on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday may be gone."