The Money Advice Service’s Retirement Adviser Directory now has more than 7,000 advisers listed, the guidance body has revealed.
A total of 3,719 firms are now part of the directory, MAS says in its final annual report before merging with The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise later this year to create a new single financial guidance body.
In 2017/18, just over 91,000 unique users searched for an adviser using the tool, with around a quarter moving through to an advice firm’s website of telephone details.
The MAS directory is intended to be limited to regulated advisers who specialise in retirement planning.
MAS says: “Specialist advice is particularly important at this life stage. Pensions often represent a significant proportion of an individual’s overall assets, and the decisions made at this time can have long-lasting consequences.”
The directory includes details on minimum pot sizes and the cost of initial meetings, but came under fire along with services like Unbiased and VouchedFor last year for failing to verify some firms that reported qualifications they did not have.
What will happen to the MAS directory under the single guidance body is still unclear, however. There are still a number of other unsolved issues, including what the new body will be called, where its funding will come from, and whether staff will require any qualification or experience levels to join.
The leadership team has begun to take place, with former FSA chief Hector Sants confirmed as chair and chair of Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust John Govett appointed as chief executive.