Examination of Witnesses

Part of Pension Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 21st October 2014.

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David Geale: I think that is something we can look at as the guidance guarantee develops. If we take it as a set of building blocks, people making their own decisions  now do not have that safeguard. They do not have the guidance guarantee. The guidance guarantee is giving them something extra and an opportunity to go and seek that. What we would expect is that the providers are very clear with people as to what this guidance guarantee service is, that they are being offered—that it is separate, impartial and free—to encourage take-up. Also, I do not think anybody is suggesting that providers cannot talk to their own customers through that process, provided they do so in a way that is consistent with not detracting from the guidance guarantee; and of course people can still take advice.

So there is a question, I guess, about how far we want to take people who have made a decision not to take the help that is available, and about saying “Are you really, really sure you did not want to take that help, since it is available?” That is a question that I think we will need to look at as the guidance guarantee comes into place, when we see how many people take it up, and what the decisions are that they are making. What we can and will track is those decisions that people are making, and the pattern of retirement options being taken up.