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Darling lets out pension dogs

The Government has unveiled its £6.5m marketing campaign to get the British public to think about their pension options inclu
ding stakeholder.

At the launch, Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling emphasised the importance of seeking advice on pensions despite the Government&#39s 1 per cent charge cap.

Heading the drive is a series of TV ads featuring talking sheep dogs with the voices of TV celebrities Jane Horrocks and Craig Doyle, who plays the part of Dave in the Royle Family.

The DSS says it had to produce a campaign that was very different from traditional public service information to get the public&#39s interest after the word “pension” is mentioned, as pensions are seen as complex and boring.

The campaign runs until March and also features cin ema and press ads and will be supported by a series of DSS consumer booklets.

The guides include a general introduction to pension options and a separate stakeholder guide.

A guide for women is available to highlight the change in law between 2010 and 2020 when the age for women to claim the basic state pension is raised from 60 to 65.

Darling says: “The basic state pension will remain the foundation of income in retirement but now people want to retire on the highest possible income by saving through an occupational, personal or stakeholder pension.

“We have tightened up the regulatory regime and we want people to take advice.”

Maddisons Monetary Man agement managing director Mark Howard says: “The campaign is rather embarrassing as it is representing the industry with a couple of talking dogs. But the message is simple and it is designed to be understood by as many people as possible.”

l Comment, p36

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