Pensions minister Guy Opperman is hoping the single financial guidance body will be established by winter.
Opperman updated delegates at the ABI retirement conference today on how the guidance body is progressing.
Currently the government is looking for a chair and chief executive who, once hired, will start looking at how the single guidance body combining the Money Advice Service, Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise under one roof, will work in practice.
The guidance body will be responsible for developing a national strategy on guidance and giving people impartial advice for free, Opperman says.
It is also just one strand of a broader effort that is needed to make the average person more in touch with saving.
The timing of the new guidance body has been uncertain since the idea first went up for discussion. An early consultation said “the earliest date that the new model will take effect is April 2018”, with follow up documents then saying that it would be live “no earlier than Autumn 2018”.
Opperman says helping the 4.8 million self-employed workers find ways to save more for retirement is a priority for government alongside earlier policy interventions.
He adds: “The mid-life MOT is something I am absolutely championing and believe it is the way forward.
“In health, we are really good at preventative medicine but do nothing for finances. I want people to change their approach to finances.
“We [the government] are also developing tested and targeted interventions for the self-employed and so I urge the pensions industry to get involved with the self-employed as it is a growing market and I want your ideas.”
Such measures are important as demographic pressures mean society and government have to adapt.
Opperman continued: “My job is to ensure British people fall in love with pensions and the concept of saving. Between 2014 and 2024 the UK will have 200,000 fewer people aged 16 to 49.