MPs to launch Pension Wise and advice inquiry

Frank Field MP

The Work and Pensions committee is to launch an inquiry into Pension Wise and the availability of advice in the wake of pension freedoms.

MPs will probe both the quality of service available through Pension Wise and the availability and affordability of financial advice.

In particular, the committee will look at whether people are adequately supported in making decisions about their retirement savings following the pension reforms.

The committee will invite written evidence on the take-up, suitability, affordability and independence of all of the retirement advice, guidance and information services available to savers.

Committee chair Frank Field says: “Many constituents were ripped off in the process of putting their earnings into pension savings. We have a duty to ensure they are not ripped off again if they wish to take their money out and spend lump sums.”

Committee member and pensions All-Party Parliamentary Group chair Richard Graham adds: “Introducing much greater flexibility in how and when individuals can access their pension savings should be a positive change for many.

“However getting the right guidance is key, and this inquiry will look at the guidance and advice being given, and how effective the system is in helping people make informed choices.”

 The probe represents the first move of the Work and Pensions committee since poverty campaigner Field was elected as its chair last month.

It comes as providers have sought to launch alternative products to tackle the advice gap.

Hargreaves Lansdown last month unveiled a flat-fee retirement service that stopped short of giving advice, while LV= launched its online advice service at the earlier this month.