15 January 2015

Pension Wise - new Government service

The Budget 2014 introduced the idea of a "guidance guarantee" being available to those who were at the point of retiring. What that service is to look like (from April 2015) is now clearer.

It will be offered by The Pensions Advisory Service by phone, or Citizens Advice Bureau in person. They are expected to provide up to 45 minutes of guidance (not "advice" since that can only be given by regulated financial advisers), and that will include getting information about the enquirer's pensions and other financial circumstances, and then identifying what options are available and providing relevant information.

That's quite a tall order for 45 minutes, especially on the phone, and especially for unqualified staff (although they will have to have "sufficient expertise"). And who's paying for all this given that it's a free service to recipients? The answer is that there will be a levy on regulated financial services firms (us).

Still, hopefully it will demonstrate the value of going to a real financial adviser who can give personal advice and arrange financial solutions. And while we cannot offer a free service, we are currently offering a free "pension check".

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