Pensions: Advisory Services

HM Treasury written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what data his Department collects on people who have exercised new pension freedoms who have not accessed the Pension Wise service.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what data his Department collects on the (a) demographics, (b) pension pot size and (c) decisions taken after the consultation of people accessing the Pension Wise service.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to gather data on people accessing the Pension Wise service.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people have accessed the Pension Wise service through the (a) face-to-face service provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau and (b) telephone service provided by the Pensions Advisory Service to date.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government committed to providing free, impartial guidance through Pension Wise, to help people make informed and confident decisions about how they use their defined contribution pension savings in retirement. It is available online, via the telephone and face to face. As of 29 October 2015, there were over 20,000 completed appointments for face to face guidance and 9,000 completed appointments for telephone guidance as well as over 1.7 million visits to the website.

Pension Wise runs exit surveys of those who have completed an appointment It is not mandatory for a user to complete an exit survey. The government is committed to being open and transparent with Pension Wise data and will be making core data readily available by placing it on the government performance platform this autumn. The data will be in the public domain and updated regularly. HM Treasury is working with Pension Wise delivery partners to provide the level of detail that we require for reporting purposes.

The Financial Conduct Authority, in line with its remit to protect consumers and ensure markets function in consumers’ interests, is monitoring developments in the retirement income market closely and has committed to take action where consumers are coming to harm or where the market is not operating competitively.

The government recognises that people may wish to consult different sources of information before reaching a decision about their retirement income. In addition to Pension Wise, The Pension Advisory Service (TPAS) provides independent, impartial information and guidance about pensions, free of charge, to members of the public. The Money Advice Service also provides free and unbiased information and guidance on all money matters.

A number of pension providers offer financial guidance. Individuals can also access regulated advice from an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority are jointly considering how financial advice could be made more accessible and affordable for consumers through the Financial Advice Market Review.

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