Pensions: Advisory Services

HM Treasury written question – answered on 26th February 2015.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what qualifications are required of Pension Wise staff providing (a) telephone and (b) face-to-face advice.

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what certificated training Pension Wise staff providing (a) telephone and (b) face-to-face advice will require prior to the launch of that scheme.

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff have been recruited to deliver the Pension Wise scheme; and what the salary bands are to which those staff have been appointed.

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much has been spent on (a) advertising and (b) recruitment of staff to provide telephone and face-to-face contact for the Pension Wise service since the introduction of that service was announced.

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding has been provided to the (a) Pension Advisory Service and (b) Citizens Advice Bureaux for providing the Pension Wise service since the introduction of that service was announced.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

All guidance specialists working for Pension Wise will receive high quality and rigorous training, whether they are delivering guidance face to face or over the phone. They will be required to pass a certificated test to demonstrate they have the necessary technical knowledge and guidance skills to deliver the guidance. The training programme is designed in accordance with FCA standards, and will be accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute, a well-respected professional standards body in the financial services industry.

HM Treasury’s delivery partners, TPAS and Citizens Advice, Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice Northern Ireland are currently recruiting guidance specialists. Recruitment strategies and the setting of pay scales is the responsibility of individual delivery partners.

At Budget 2014, the Chancellor allocated a development fund of up to £20m to establish the initial guidance service. Spending on advertising will be published as part of the government’s Transparency Agenda. Initial funding to The Pension Advisory Service (TPAS) and the Citizen Advice organisations will be included in the HM Treasury Accounts to be published in July.

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