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Citizens Advice names first pension guidance sites

Citizen Advice has named the first 44 bureaux that will deliver face-to-face sessions as part of the Government-backed pensions guidance service Pension Wise.

People will be able to book guidance appointments at any Citizen Advice office but will have to travel to a designated delivery centre for the session itself.

Each office will have between three and seven staff, depending on the demand in the area. Guidance will also be available at “outreach locations” in the areas covered by the delivery centres, Citizen Advice says.

Citizens Advice says staff will be “highly trained” and assessed against the FCA’s standards before they are allowed to offer guidance to the public.

Chief executive Gillian Guy says: “Pensions guidance will be crucial in helping people understand their options as they approach retirement age. These 44 Citizens Advice Bureaux selected as delivery centres will be key to bringing the Pension Wise service to life and making sure that as many people as possible can access the guidance.”

Chancellor George Osborne promised people would be able to access guidance as part of sweeping pension reforms coming into force from April this year.

The Pensions Advisory Service is providing the telephone support for Pension Wise, while the website is being designed and maintained by the Treasury. Pension Wise is funded by an industry levy – set to cost advisers £4.2m in the first year – and a one-off £20m Government loan.

The 44 bureaux offering face-to-face guidance are listed in the table below.

CAB - offices guidance service

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Highly trained. I bet they will not be level 4 or even 2 or 3 unless they employ ex advisers who have only stopped in the last year or so.

  2. 3 Questions if anyone can shed any light : If it’s a £20 million government ‘loan’, then how will it be repaid and at what cost and from where will the on-going service be funded?

    Answers please to #didyouneedtoaskthat

  3. Claire Trott - Talbot & Muir 20th January 2015 at 12:45 pm

    The promise of face to face for all that want it seems to be far from being delivered here. I would have to travel an hour at least to see someone.

    Luckily ( I think), I have years until retirement as this will all be gone by then I expect.

  4. I note one near me is Shropshire, oh dear, this is a huge county, so which town will it be in ?

  5. So the North East of the country has 2 guidance sites covering the entire area.

    So much for free guidance, it costs just to get there never mind the cost of wasted time when you find out that they can’t really help.

    Good news for us though, no guidance site for at least 20 miles in any direction.

  6. Highly trained? They need to get a move on because there is not long to go. Oh just realised the details will not be finalised until the budget, and then it has to go through committee stages and the House of Lords before getting Royal Assent and therefore could technically still be changed. Also there is an election in May and depending on the outcome everything could be changed anyway. Training the inexperienced (no matter how willing and capable) on the changing sand of legislation that will not be finalised until Royal Assent sometime in August, and may not happen at all, assessed against as yet unspecified FCA standards (This is the same FCA who could not get Independent and Restricted right after several years never mind a third tier of advice – sorry guidance). What on earth could go wrong?

  7. Just THREE in London – you can’t be serious?

  8. None in Surrey. Not that anyone in Surrey has a small pension pot, of course…

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