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Advisers call for MAS to be scrapped after pensions guidance snub

Advisers have called for the Money Advice Service to be abolished and its budget re-directed elsewhere after it was axed from delivering pension guidance.

The Treasury has chosen the Citizens Advice Bureau and The Pensions Advisory Service to deliver its guaranteed guidance sessions. The guidance is designed to support radical new pension freedoms in April next year.

The MAS was expected to play a key role but will now only offer expertise in the background.

Advisers say the MAS budget, which is £81.1m in 2014/15 with one-sixth or £13.2m spent on marketing, should now be spent in other areas.

MAS is subject to an independent review commissioned by the Treasury, which is expected to report by the end of the year. The review has no limitations and could call for the service to be signifcantly reformed or abolished.

Page Russell director Tim Page says: “This raises a big question over the future of MAS. I would hope for the benefit of levy payers that the Treasury comes to a swift decision over whether this quango continues and I hope it doesn’t.

“The worst situation is that they carry on spending everyone’s money but, because they are out of the guidance picture, become even more irrelevant.”

Syndaxi managing director Robert Reid says: “We now need to ask whether MAS should exist at all and where to put the money. It could go to the CAB.

“Why re-invent the wheel? I never agreed with the creation of MAS in the first place. It was an ego-trip for Gordon Brown and Otto Thoresen. We have wasted a lot of money here and the Government has a duty to deploy it more sensibly.”

Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “This is the biggest thing the MAS was set up for and it is not fit to do it, so its budget must be re-directed to something more useful. We are paying for it, after all.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. E L Wisty (an only twin) 20th October 2014 at 11:48 am

    How can an organisation that doesn’t ‘make anything’ spend so much on marketing.

    One can only hope that the wholly sensible exclusion of MAS from pension guidance is an indication that the guillotine is to be brought down on this worthless quango and its feckless CEO.

  2. Shut it down! The CAB was always the better option.

    MAS was another of Gordon Brown and the Labour party’s excesses – making the spending of other peoples monies an art form.

  3. I believe the idea of paying the Citizens Advice Bureau was suggested by the adviser community before MAS was even set up! When are they going to learn to stop wasting everyone’s money and listen to people working on the front line. This is the real reason this country is bankrupt – its run by idiots who do not listen!

  4. E L Wisty (an only twin) 20th October 2014 at 12:13 pm

    @ Lee Tomkins

    Sadly, you may well be correct. Indeed, many of the ‘worthies’ appointed to ruin, sorry run, these quangos are ex-mandarins with scant experience of the real world. Furthermore, many of them left Oxbridge with a sense of entitlement and a PPE (which may stand for P******-away People’s Earnings).

  5. Whilst I don’t agree with funding MAS, I certainly do not see why we should pay anything towards CAB. This is a universal assistance organisation and whilst we may be able to gain some benefit from local relationships with such an organisation (as can other businesses), I certainly do not see why any MAS costs need to be diverted anywhere at all, other than back to their rightful owners…Ourselves and our clients!

    Please stop with the ‘let’s help fund CAB’ nonsense before someone takes you all seriously!!

  6. How many of our ‘Middle Britain’ clients will go to their local CAB?

    As I keep saying there is a gap in the market which needs filling – Straight forward advice for straight forward people

  7. I can see it now. Mr Smart Investor approaching his retirement wanting a bit of advise about how to use his retirement pot to his best advantage standing in line at his local CAB. No, I can’t really see it as that was my idea of sarcasm. I trust these CAB advisers will all hold a level 4 qualification because if they don’t that will certainly make a mockery of RDR.
    The MAS hasn’t been fit for purpose since inception and the recent debacle about what Caroline Rookes thinks about advisers in general demonstrated how she saw the organisation in the market place. In her eyes the MAS is good, advisers have no ethics so you should use MAS. The fact this keeps her in a well paid job funded by the unethical is neither here nor there to her. This thing is turning into a mighty mess by the minute, and if our illustrious government doesn’t think the MAS is fit for the job what are they actually fit for? Its time someone made a decision and scrapped the whole shebang.

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