View more on these topics

Concerns raised over Citizens Advice/PFS pro-bono tie-up


Concerns have been raised that people using Citizens Advice and the Personal Finance Society’s pro-bono initiative could be missing out on expert advice if they have a defined contribution pension.

MoneyPlan is a holistic financial planning service delivered by PFS members that falls short of full regulated advice.

A note sent to MoneyPlan advisers, seen by Money Marketing, explains that clients with DC pensions must do “an onward referral” to Pension Wise.

It adds: “Clients with defined benefit pensions are not eligible under Pension Wise and can seek advice from the financial adviser.”

Pension Wise has struggled to attract savers to appointments and is set to slash the number of guidance staff by a third.

A MoneyPlan adviser, who wishes to remain anonymous, says: “Citizens Advice refusing to allow clients to have advice on their defined contribution scheme means some of the most vulnerable in society will lose out.

“I do not understand why they will allow us to give advice to DB clients, who normally have the best pensions by far, but will ban those who have far worse pensions.”

PFS chief executive Keith Richards says the service has a broader remit than Pension Wise but is not advice.

He says: “MoneyPlan will take a lot more into consideration than Pension Wise because it is broader and it is more holistic financial planning considerations that will be discussed. It is generally more around the options people should be considering, rather than solutions and recommendations.

“It’s really important Pension Wise and MoneyPlan complement each other rather than compete.

“There will always be the occasion where something may have worked better going in a different way but we are very happy with how things are progressing. We are soon to move into a new phase with MoneyPlan rolled out at more bureaux.”

A Citizens Advice spokeswoman says: “MoneyPlan offers people a free taster session of generic financial advice and is a service which complements Pension Wise. Anyone with a DC pension is entitled to access both Pension Wise guidance and a MoneyPlan session.”

Currently 179 PFS members volunteer across 98 Citizens Advice centres.



Citizens Advice chief: Altmann provider criticism unhelpful

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy says Ros Altmann’s comments over how providers are failing to signpost to Pension Wise were not helpful. Pension Wise has suffered from low take-up since it launched in April 2015, prompting the pensions minister to blame providers for failing to direct customers to it. But Guy – whose organisation […]


Citizens Advice ramps up efforts to prevent leaks

A Citizens Advice bureau has increased efforts to prevent a raft of leaks that have revealed the inner workings of one of the organisations running the Government’s Pension Wise service. The declaration, sent to both emp­loyees and volunteers at Diss, Thetford and District Citizens Advice in Norfolk and seen by Money Marketing, blocks disclosure of […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. David Brookes 27th May 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Is it just me and Pro Bono work? We were told that one of the reasons for getting rid of commission was that HNW clients were by implication subsidising the less well off and this shouldn’t happen. Surely that is now happening by working Pro-Bono, as you have to have earned enough income from your existing clients to cover the cost of doing a couple of hours unpaid for the less well off.

  2. David

    Indeed. Anyway as the saying goes the value of anything is what you pay for it. So…….

  3. I would be prepared to work pro-bono, for a fee of course.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm