Advisers have hit out at the Government for “misleading” savers after it referred to its pensions guidance service as a “right to advice”.
With the overhaul to pension flexibility set out in the Budget, the Chancellor pledged to develop a face-to-face guidance service for members of defined contribution schemes at retirement.
The initiative will be funded by £20m from Government over two years, plus a levy on providers and trust-based schemes.
George Osborne said all retirees “will be offered free, impartial, face-to-face advice” but Budget documents confirmed it was a “guidance guarantee”.
Speaking to the Saga Group this week, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “One of the most important things in the Budget is the right to face-to-face financial advice.”
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “This is reminiscent of the Money Advice Service and very misleading. This is not going to be advice nor will it be guided or structured, it is just delivery of information.”
FortyTwo Wealth Management partner Alan Dick says: “If this is being called guidance to avoid being on the hook for regulated advice then it seems strange that is allowed.
“Regulated advisers would not be allowed to do it so why should the Government?”
Bloomsbury Wealth Management partner Jason Butler says: “The word ‘help’ is more accurate than advice or guidance but this is politics so they do not know what they are talking about.”
The Treasury says the service is officially offering guidance not advice.