Pension Wise appointments 'nudge' unlikely to deliver major increase - Timms

Plans to nudge people towards taking free pensions guidance are “unlikely to deliver a major increase”, according to Work and Pensions Committee chair, Stephen Timms.

Responding to an announcement from the Department for Work and Pensions regarding the Pension Wise service, Timms conceded that the approach was a “step forward” but was still unsure about its prospects.

The proposals would require pension schemes to steer their members towards taking free guidance from Pension Wise, although Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has previously confirmed that the government did not intend to set a target for the number of Pension Wise guidance sessions it wanted to see attended.

Timms commented: “Pension Wise offers a hugely valuable service for the pension savers who use it: nearly three quarters of them make a different decision after having its guidance. But unfortunately only a very small proportion of savers speak to Pension Wise.

“That leaves huge numbers of people at risk of making the wrong decision about accessing their pension savings—risking a lower quality of life in retirement and, in the worst case scenario, losing all of their pension savings to scammers.”

He added that there was an even more prescient need to help savers with their pensions after the confirmed delay to the pensions dashboards, noting that the Work and Pensions Committee would continue to scrutinise government activity.

Timms concluded: “With the long-promised pensions dashboard still more than two years away, there is still much more to be done to support pension savers who want to access their pension.

“Early next year, the committee will be looking in more detail at what the government and the regulators are doing to ensure that people have the tools they need to make the right decisions.”

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