Today (12 January 2015) the Government revealed the name of its new pensions guidance service, which is to be run in partnership with the Citizens Advice and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).
The service is to be called Pensions Wise: Your Money, Your Choice, which reflects the Government's aims of empowering those approaching retirement to make confident, informed choices about funding their retirement. The service will offer free and – importantly - impartial guidance on the myriad pensions options that will become available from April, and will be offered through face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations or online guidance.
Next month, the service will embark on a pilot scheme to test what does and doesn't work well and to receive customer feedback. Those approaching retirement can apply to have early access to the scheme through this pilot by registering their interest at www.gov.uk/pensionwise.
This service will offer those approaching retirement guidance on their options and what to do next – but it won't offer advice. Detailed advice will still need to be sought from professional advisers, but the service will hopefully help its users to understand what questions to ask and where to get the best help, and ideally will give them an idea of how they can secure a retirement income.
Users will need to book a slot to use the service, whether they want a face-to-face meeting, or a telephone interview. After the meeting, users will be issued with a summary document so that they can reflect on the guidance they have received.
From April, the new pensions reforms will come into play, and while they will offer retirees more options than ever before, they will also introduce a new level of complexity into the pensions arena. As a result, making an informed decision about how to manage retirement funds and ensuring that retirees will be able to maintain an income throughout the rest of their lives has gained even greater importance.
Commenting on today's announcement, Sylvia Waycot, editor of Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: "Today's announcement finally gives a name to the face of the guidance guarantee promised by the Government. It promises to form an essential first step for pre-retirees who are looking to find out more about their pension options post-April and will help to guide them through the soon-to-be complex system."
However, there are still some outstanding issues and unanswered questions. Ms Waycot adds: "The Government still hasn't gone into much detail about what exact guidance will be offered, which means we won't know for sure until the reforms are almost upon us.
"It's also important to point out that this service is offering just guidance to pre-retirees. After an initial session with Pension Wise, it is still advisable to meet with a professional to go through the options in more detail."
If you're approaching retirement, it's time to start getting informed! You can find out some details about the pension options on offer by checking out our pensions guide. You can also take a look at our no obligation annuity planner to see if this is an option that would suit you and your post-retirement lifestyle. It's also a good idea to sign up and register with the Pension Wise service so that you can be one of the first to find out more information about what the service will offer.
Check out our retirement guide
Take a look at our annuity planner
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