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Govt eyes Pension Wise expansion

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The Government is considering expanding the eligibility criteria for new guidance service Pension Wise just three months after its launch, Money Marketing understands.

Initially the Treasury said only people within six months of their 55th birthday could use the service, but this could be lowered to 50.

The requirement to be within six months of making a retirement decision before using the service could also be removed, as could the two-week waiting period imposed on appointments.

The changes could be in place as early as this month.

Before she was appointed to the role, new pensions minister Ros Altmann was to hold a wide-ranging review of the pension system, including whether to expand Pension Wise.

The service is funded by an industry levy, with advisers expected to pay £4.2m towards costs estimated by the Government at £35m for its first year.

In the weeks prior to the freedoms taking effect, Government figures showed just 1,800 people had booked appointments with Pension Wise.

However, there was capacity for up to 10,000 appointments a week in April and over 400,000 appointments a year. Pension providers on the other hand, were deluged with enquiries as the largest firms fielded 3,000 calls a day each.

Citizens Advice deliver face-to-face appointments, while The Pensions Advisory Service run the telephone service.

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Comments

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

  1. Fine, expand a service no one wants, why ?

  2. I have been fortunate (at the kind invitation of Michelle Cracknell CEO of TPAS) to listen in to callers to the guidance service and see their systems and processes. I have to say I was impressed by what I witnessed. For those pension pot owners seeking guidance Pension Wise is a valuable service.

    Expanding the service to remove the six month from benefit age time frame and improving the two-week waiting period also makes sense.

    However don’t expect the IFA community to pay for any extra cost involved in this enhancement. It really is time this Government put its (taxpayers) money where its mouth is and properly funded this service for the public good, particularly as there is no evidence that IFAs have been benefitting from the “tax” levied on them to pay for Pension Wise

  3. While they are at it, Paul Woolley, why not, instead of a 3rd runway at Heathrow, build an entirely new airport in Doncaster. That’ll be money spent on something else almost no one will use

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