Government to form single financial guidance body

A single financial guidance service, delivering debt advice, budgeting and pension guidance will be set up by the government.

The Money Advice Service will be abolished (as announced at Budget 2016) and the Pensions Advice Service and Pensions Wise will be reformed into one body.

The single financial guidance body will aim to make it easier for consumers to get the help they need with their financial decisions.

Plans are currently in consultation so no legislation will be included in the forthcoming Pensions Schemes Bill.

Morten Nilsson, CEO at NOW: Pensions, said:

“Pensions are complicated and it’s important that the specialist service offered by organisations such as The Pensions Advisory Service isn’t lost.

“With the freedom and choice reforms, pension savers have many more options to consider when they come up to retirement and face significant consequences if they make the wrong decision.”

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said:

“The government needs to ensure the new pensions guidance body doesn’t duplicate or obstruct market developments, or create unnecessary costs. It’s also important that success criteria are set in stone with results publicly reported, so that value for money can be assessed.”

Richard Parkin, head of pensions policy at Fidelity International, said:

“Having public guidance consolidated into a single organisation makes sense and we need to make sure it’s used. Our experience is that many have yet to appreciate the benefits of seeking expert help, especially around accessing pension savings.”

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