Money and Pension Service launches

The Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) has officially launched, kicking off with a number of listening events across the UK.

Formerly the Single Financial Guidance Body, MAPS launched yesterday (8 April) and will begin the development of its new national strategy centred on improving the nation’s financial wellbeing.

MAPS, bringing together Pension Wise, The Pensions Advisory Service and the Money Advice Service, will develop a joined up approach to tackle debt issues and money and pensions guidance, “enabling individuals to make informed financial decisions”.

MAPS chief executive, John Govett, said: “Improving the UK’s financial wellbeing is only possible through collective action, and engaging a wide community of organisations and businesses for their views is the first step.

“It is crucial that anyone who has an interest in improving people’s ability to manage their money and pensions is able to contribute to the conversation about what’s needed.”

The government-backed service will undertake 10 roadshows across the UK from now until the end of June, in order to develop its national strategy and three-year corporate plan.

MAPS chair, Hector Sants, said: “Making financial decisions is not unlike shopping at the supermarket – consumers are confronted with many options and must decide what is the best choice for them based on what they need, on price and quality.

“There has been a lot of great work over the past few years to enable people to make more informed food choices; it’s time to think about financial wellbeing through a similar lens.”

The strategy will focus the “five building blocks to managing money” including; savings, credit use, debt advice, retirement and financial education, with the ambition to turn every £1 of budget into £10 of customer impact through the wider sector.

According to the MAPS business plan, the service hopes to deliver 205,000 pension freedoms transactions over the next year, a 21 per cent increase on 2018/19, and 290,000 personalised pensions guidance sessions a 26 per cent increase on last year.

It added that the website will go live towards the end of 2019 and will be influenced by the listening sessions.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman, added: “The Money and Pensions Service will be there for those most in need as well as helping today’s younger generations to become the savvy savers of tomorrow. It will play a vital role too in the creation of ground-breaking pensions dashboards which will bring pensions into the 21st Century.”

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