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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.


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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Once again we have an MP using the phrase ‘rip-off’ with no evidence to back it up.

  2. Yes indeed Sean. Let’s start this enquiry from a completely partisan view and no idea at all about the facts. Incompetent buffoons.

  3. So this committee will deliver a fair and unbiased assessment from an impartial Chair then? Sounds like Mr Field has already made his mind up and should just write the report now without bothering with all that tedious consultation and evidence stuff.

  4. You are absolutely right Sean. I expect this sensationalist rhetoric from tabloids that are only interested in their circulation numbers, not a distinguished member of parliament with a long standing career in politics. We could be forgiven for thinking it was just a bit of grandstanding and trying to score brownie points. I would suggest that Mr Field maybe considers his words more carefully given his position as committee chair. Something a bit more balanced, unbiased or even objective would be more appropriate.

  5. This comes from an MP who has just been awarded a 10% pay rise at a time when inflation is running at it’s lowest ever rate. Is that not a rip-off Mr.Field? And you are about to go on an a 6 week paid holiday with a further 6 weeks before February 2016. Somebody is having a laugh here!

  6. So this will be a totally unbiased review!

    Frank Field should be removed from the review after his inappropriate comments. Clearly as the chair he has preconceived ideas and beliefs that will cloud his judgement and therefore his ability to be effective.

    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.”

    He should retract the comments and apologize or resign as the chair.

  7. Fact – Many MP’s couldn’t quite get their expenses right. Q. Is it reasonable to generalise and call them all incompetent – please discuss….. I couldn’t possibly comment.

  8. Piers Clarkson 16th July 2015 at 4:49 pm

    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.”

    Many constituents have been ripped off by the civil service, politicians (expenses second homes), quangos, the NHS, Capita, the EU…where are the dutiful politicians stopping this from happening…. people in glass houses… sheesh:-(

  9. Piers Clarkson 16th July 2015 at 8:01 pm

    we must always remember when we point fingers there are three pointing back at us… 🙂 there is always a two way street.

    Remember the context in which a journalist uses info…

  10. Lots of people were ripped off when they received inappropriate advice and coercion to buy inappropriate badly designed financial products and don’t ever forget that. Before the industry was professionalised and before the Financial Services Act in the late 1980s let’s not forget that you needed no qualifications at all to be a “financial planner” or “financial consultant”. You just needed one of the many direct sales forces to sell you the benefits of owning a Ferrari by contacting a list of 100 people you know and selling them a great dream of future wealth. These inappropriate contracts had massive front end loaded charges and often massive surrender penalties for early cessation. If this were not true we would not have the utterly useless overkill regulatory framework that we now have. It is tragic that the current self-interested self-righteous megalomaniacs running our regulators do not realise that the world has changed and are still forcing a whole new generation of professionals to pay for the sins of their forerunners. People do need protection from “bad eggs” but sadly the general public is paying a fortune in higher advice fees to pay for the extra time effort and money spent by financial firms to comply with ridiculous overkill regulations. So Frank Field is not wrong to say it is their duty to avoid further rip-offs. Sadly I doubt very much whether he or his fellow committee members has the first idea of how to achieve this. I love my job but can only laugh at the regulation and regulators we are saddled with. George Orwell could not have imagined worse.

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