Govt to restructure pension guidance services

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The Government has revealed plans to restructure the delivery of pension guidance, after this morning moving to axe the Money Advice Service.

The new system will introduce a new pensions guidance body, with a key objective to make sure consumers can get all their pension questions answered in one place.

The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise will be replaced by a single pension guidance body.

The new body will take on and extend the services offered by TPAS and Pension Wise and the pensions services offered by MAS.

Although the future role of Citizens Advice in guidance provision is not mentioned, the new body will be set up to offer guidance through multiple channels, including face-to-face.

It will be accountable to the Department for Work and Pensions and funded by a levy on the financial services industry and trust-based pension schemes.

In the consultation documents, the Treasury says it expects that by combining services it will be able to reduce the overall budget for pension guidance.

However funding arrangements will be formalised by the FCA and The Pensions Regulator.

In addition, following the closure of the Money Advice Service, the Treasury will introduce a new money guidance body, with a specific remit to identify gaps in the guidance market.

The new service will then commission providers to fill these gaps to ensure consumers can access debt advice and money guidance.

The new measures are being put to consultation, launched today and running to 8 June, with a final response due in autumn this year.