The majority of savers want Chancellor George Osborne’s “guidance guarantee” to be delivered face-to-face by qualified advisers, new research suggests.
To support radical pension reforms that will hand people greater freedom over how they spend their pension pot from April next year, the Government has promised everyone will have the option of receiving free face-to-face retirement guidance.
The Government has set aside £20m to get the guidance service up and running, with the FCA handed responsibility for designing the framework.
The ongoing costs will be paid through a levy on providers and trust-based pension schemes.
It remains unclear how the pledge will be delivered, with insurers divided over the role they should play in communicating with members.
The Pensions Advisory Service chief executive Michelle Cracknell has claimed most people would prefer not to speak to someone face-to-face.
However, a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 over 40s with private pensions, conducted by Consumer Intelligence, suggests 69 per cent want their options explained in a face-to-face session.
A further 24 per cent said they would be willing to use online services in conjunction with human help, while 4 per cent wanted guidance over the phone. Just 3 per cent said they would be willing to rely solely on online help.
Consumer Intelligence spokesman David Black says: “Decisions about retirement income are ones that people literally have to live with so it is clear that people want to take them seriously.
“Face to face guidance is by far the preferred option for the free advice proposed by the government with most people willing to travel to ensure they get as much help exploring their options as possible.”