Personal pensions will be one of five areas the Government’s new single financial guidance body will cover.
The Government announced it was planning to create a single organisation to deliver guidance on pensions, money and debt advice in October, combining The Pensions Advisory Service, Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service into one body.
In a joint Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions consultation today, the Government says the proposed body will give guidance on occupational and personal pensions including retirement planning and accessing defined contribution pots.
The new body will also be responsible for giving information to help avoid financial fraud and scams, debt advice, and guidance to improve financial capability. It will also bring together non-governmental financial education programmes for children and young people.
The Government confirmed that the new guidance body may signpost to IFAs, but will not provide or support any form of regulated advice other than funding providers to deliver debt advice.
The consultation says: “The overarching purpose of the body is to ensure that people get the right support to help them make financial decisions throughout their lives, not to provide individuals with regulated, bespoke advice on specific financial decisions.”
The Government suggests the new body, which will be in place no earlier than autumn 2018, could also take on a strategic role by working with the charity and financial services sector.
It will also have a role in research that develops an understanding of what helps consumers to make better financial decisions.
The new body will be funded by levies on the financial and pensions industries. The Government says that these levies will be roughly the same as the current fees at first but should result in long-term savings for advisers.
The consultation says: “A levy-funded model remains appropriate given the benefits which firms will gain over time from effective debt advice, money and pensions guidance and financial capability interventions.”
Pensions minister Richard Harrington says: “We want to ensure that everyone has access to high quality and impartial financial guidance, to help them make the most of their hard earned savings. This new single body will be a place people can go for free, impartial financial guidance, and I look forward to hearing people’s views on our proposals.”
The consultation closes on 13 February 2017.