Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie has written to Chancellor George Osborne raising concern over the Money Advice Service’s involvement in the pensions guidance guarantee.
This morning, the Government announced it was working with the MAS on design and implementation of the guarantee.
Tyrie has written to the Chancellor asking for information over the scope and role of the MAS within the new service because of “serious concerns” over its performance.
Tyrie says: “I have written today to the Chancellor, asking him to clarify the scope and limits of the role proposed for the MAS. Furthermore, the independent review should be allowed to consider both immediate improvements to the MAS and the question of its future as a statutory body.
“Without such an undertaking, the committee would have reservations about a role for the MAS in an area as important as the guidance guarantee.”
Asked by Money Marketing if she is confident of MAS’s competence, Treasury economic secretary Andrea Leadsom says: “The MAS is one of the groups we have asked to look at finding a mechanism to deliver the guidance. Along with the Pensions Advisory Service and others, MAS will be key in this. Obviously, the Government has enough confidence that MAS will be able to be a part of that.”
The committee’s report on the MAS, published in December, gave the service a stay of execution but called on the Treasury to launch an independent inquiry into its future.
When that inquiry was eventually announced, Tyrie called for the terms of reference to be broadened to consider whether the MAS should continue to exist on a statutory footing.
Tyrie says: “The committee has expressed serious concerns about the ability of the MAS to perform its functions, and has recommended that an independent review consider whether the MAS should exist at all as a statutory body.”