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Pension Wise staff redeployed amid low take-up

Pension Wise jenga

Pension Wise guidance staff who do not have appointments booked are being redeployed, Money Marketing can reveal.

The Treasury has given The Pensions Advisory Service clearance to use Pension Wise staff on its existing helpline.

Likewise, Citizens Advice says Pension Wise staff, who are funded by a levy on financial services firms, can also work on promoting the free service to the public and employers, as well as booking appointments.

The Government has repeatedly come under fire for the low take-up of the service. It is set to cost £35m this year, with advisers contributing £4.2m.

But of the more than 200,000 people that accessed their pension in the first three months of the freedoms, only 20,000 received telephone or face-to-face guidance from Pension Wise.

TPAS chief executive Michelle Cracknell says: “The Treasury-funded staff do Pension Wise as their number one priority, but where they don’t have Pension Wise appointments and are underutilised, the Treasury has given us permission to use them on our core helpline.

“The reason they’ve done that is the core helpline is so busy because of freedom and choice, so it’s a legitimate use of funding.”

A Citizens Advice spokeswoman says: “Citizens Advice Pension Wise staff are specifically dedicated to working on the pensions guidance service.

“As well as delivering guidance sessions, staff have a key role in highlighting to their local communities how the Pension Wise service can help people understand their pension options and in supporting the delivery of the service.

“This can include promoting the service to the public and local businesses, attending events and booking appointments.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Douglas Baillie 8th October 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Pension Wise – More Like Pension Stupid!

    Yet another waste of taxpayers money, with an ill thought out, unrealistic service, delivering nothing useful, that nobody needs or wants.

  2. Remind me again what the charges are and why we are being levied them?
    if these staff are not required then why are they being kept on at our expense,

  3. @ David Brookes
    Absoluteley correct. This is jobsworths gone mad.
    If you do insist ln redeploying them at our expensethen at least let them do our typing.

  4. I requested a meeting for retirement advice when this came out. Two months after state retirment age I’ve heard nothing. Personally, not surprised they’re under utilised…

  5. Wouldn’t it be good if pension wise said “this service is partially funded by your local IFA , please support them “

  6. Yet more evidence that a redeemable voucher system for an initial, face to face consultation with a qualified and FCA-authorised adviser would have been a vastly more cost effective and straightforward strategy. Many people suggested this but nobody listened. Then again, its administration would probably have been so shambolic that after just a month or two most of the adviser community would have boycotted it.

  7. I wonder how many of the respondents above have read the article on this link: http://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/opinion/2429703/why-work-with-jeremy-kyles-cast-offs-advisers-ugly-truth-on-the-advice-gap?utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=%27Why%20work%20with%20Jeremy%20Kyle%27s%20cast%20offs%3F%27%20Advisers%27%20ugly%20truth%20on%20the%20advice%20gap&utm_campaign=IFA.AM_Update_RL.EU.A.U&utm_source=PA.DCM.Editors_Updates
    It seems the advisory community wants nothing to do with the vast majority of potential clients so surely better promotion or, dare I say it, support from such advisers would free up such to advise those clients they wish to see. PW can take away the “burden” of unprofitable clients and all for the princely sum of £10 per year if your turnover is £200,000 (David B).

  8. Between August 17 and October 2 the majority of Pension Wise resource in Derbyshire Dales CAB was deployed on general CAB work. This was funded by HM Treasury – Derbyshire Dales CAB has the highest value contract in the country. Any staff resisting this redeployment were coerced into performing the duties, in fact one has been dismissed for refusing to comply!
    The above sounds like a poor attempt at a cover-up by CAB and evidence of inept contract management by HM Treasury.

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