Treasury reveals Pension Wise take-up

Queue-Wait-People-Lineup-Shadow-700x450.jpg

Pension Wise has provided 18,000 guidance appointments since its launch, according to figures from the Treasury.

The Government has not broken down how many of these appointments were face-to-face through Citizens Advice and how many many were over the phone through TPAS, however.

Officials also estimate that in total 925,000 unique visitors have accessed the Pension Wise website, although no information has been provide on actions taken as a result of receiving guidance.

In addition, earlier this week George Osborne told members of the Treasury committee that 90 per cent of those who had used Pension Wise had reported satisfaction with the service in an exit survey.

However, the Treasury has so far been unable to provide any additional data to support the Chancellor’s claim.

The Government has previously declined to share information on the numbers of people it expects to use the service or satisfaction levels, and the figures come after experts warned that the service was operating under capacity.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pension research Tom McPhail said: “Based on our own research, it appears that take-up of Pension Wise has been very low in the first weeks and months of the new regime. It is time the Treasury published its own data so we can see whether the official picture is any better.

“The idea of creating a new, independent service to deliver Pension Wise was always a high risk strategy for the Government. Take-up was never going to hit 100 per cent so the challenge now is to ensure that all investors get good service and good information even if they don’t use Pension Wise.”

In a written response to Labour Shadow pensions minister Lord Bradley, Treasury minister Lord O’Neill said in early July that as of 6 April, nearly 380 people had booked face-to-face appointments through the Citizens Advice service, while nearly 1,400 had booked telephone guidance.