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Delivering pensions guidance summary of the key points

Pension Wise logoHM Treasury has published an update document on delivering the pensions guidance.

This unveils details of the guidance service brand, to be known as Pension Wise, and the new guidance website.

Key points from the 'Delivering pensions guidance' update include:

  • Initial user research about the service suggests that the optimum length of a session is about 45 minutes.
  • Users can access the service on-line, call a contact centre (on a 0300 and 0800 number) or walk into a Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to book an appointment; but there is no detail such as a phone number or which or how many CABx will be involved. On signposting, the document notes HMT’s work with the ABI and NAPF on a standardised document.
  • HMT will work with industry on a short, simple, standardised product with key pension information (this is also a remedy in the FCA’s Market Study); and will work with MAS on the updated version of their guide that must be included in providers’ packs. No information about who is leading, or the timescales.
  • A public pilot of the online guidance service will start in February, with HMT’s priority group – those wanting to take a decision in the very near term – and people can register their interest on the website.
  • The service will hand off to the MAS annuity comparison tables, and to the MAS adviser directory; and provide users with questions to ask of drawdown providers.
  • Success is described by being determined by what constitutes success for the consumer, which is not only the experience of the guidance service per se, but what they do after having used the service. A formal service evaluation will be run in 2015 to check that the guidance service is working effectively, delivers value for money and meets user needs. We will probe what this means in practice.
  • HMT’s initial estimate of the cost in FY15/16 is £35 million, to be confirmed in March in the FCA’s fees consultation paper. This cost includes the surge expected from the pent-up demand. Any overspend may be recovered in the subsequent year. This is almost three times our estimate for high take-up in the KPMG work. We think the discrepancy arises from the length of the discussion (45 minutes), a higher number of overall sessions and/or proportion of face-to-face sessions, and potentially marketing spend.
  • The service will a marketed to raise awareness of the service, but there is no further detail about how and when.

The ABI has published a response to the update, and the letter sent to HM Treasury in December regarding Signposting customers to guidance (pdf 109kB).

For more information, see the HM Treasury press release.

Last updated 01/07/2016