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Behind the headlines: Scottish Widows hits back over Pension Wise take-up

The “jury is out” on whether Pension Wise is delivering what the Government promised, says Scottish Widows head of individual distribution Damian Coleman.

Earlier this month in an exclusive interview with Money Marketing pensions minister Ros Altmann blamed providers for the service’s low take-up.

But Coleman says the industry has spent an “eye-watering” amount on Pension Wise and the criticism levied against the industry is unfair.

He says: “There’s always more providers can do but to have the finger pointed at us entirely I’m not so sure. There will be provider CIOs scratching their heads after that.

“Scottish Widows alone has spent a similar amount to advisers’ share of the Pension Wise levy. It’s an eye-watering sum, you have to ask the question why would we spent that money and then not follow the letter of the law?”

Coleman also warns while pension freedoms have been a success in terms of allowing people to take money out of pensions, it is not yet clear the reforms will drive better consumer outcomes in the long term.

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