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Free pension advisory services to be merged

Newsletter issue - June 2016.

Pension Wise, the free advice service set up to promote and advise on pensions reform and annuity freedoms, is to be merged with other publically funded advice services on pensions, to create a single website and advisory service.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) believes that the merger is a great opportunity for the new unified service to better help those on low incomes. Commenting on the merger, LITRG chairman, Anthony Thomas, said:

'Advice on money matters has previously been delivered in penny packets by bodies specialising in discrete areas, sometimes not well integrated with other areas which can affect financial decisions. In particular the interaction with tax and benefits can have major and long-term effects, often unforeseen at the time of the decision, and those without professional representation can be hard-pressed to find the necessary information and knit it together to find the best course to take. After all, decisions about pensions are taken at a time when a person may yet have 20 or 30 years of non-working life to plan for.

The new unified body must appreciate that the unrepresented often have more difficulty in accessing websites or recording telephone information, so the provision of face-to-face contact will be an essential element of their proposed service, as will its ability to connect the client seamlessly with appropriate specialist agencies.'

The merger is set to take place within twelve months and, following a further review, will see the Money Advice Service (MAS), The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise restructured as a single UK-wide pensions guidance body.

The Pension Wise can be accessed here.