The phone number for Government-backed guidance service Pension Wise has been confirmed just two weeks before the pension freedoms come into force on 6 April.
People eligible for the service can call 030 0330 1001 to book an appointment either face-to-face through Citizens Advice or over the phone with The Pensions Advisory Service.
Guidance providers say users will be asked to wait two weeks for an appointment – which will be up to around 45 minutes long – to give them time to collect relevant financial information and documents to bring to the sessions.
The Pension Wise website has already been launched but the adviser directory users will be directed to, designed by the Money Advice Service, is still registering advisers and has not been launched to the public.
Pension Wise is funded by a £20m Government start-up loan and a levy on financial services firms, of which advisers are expected to pay £4.2m in costs in the first year.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of pension research Tom McPhail says: “With only 2 weeks to go until the new freedoms go live, it has been a close run thing for the Treasury to get the promised service up and running.”
“Pension Wise will be useful but for many investors it is unlikely to answer all their needs. If investors want more help, the Pension Wise service only directs them towards paying for regulated financial advice, which is hardly consistent with the spirit of the new freedoms. We know that most investors want to make their own decisions without paying for an adviser, at the same time they’re likely to want more help than Pension Wise can offer. As a consequence, the pensions industry has also been gearing up for a big surge in demand.”