Pension Wise is “capacity constrained”, admits new Maps CEO

Pension Wise, the government’s free financial guidance service, is “capacity constrained” the new CEO of the Money and Pensions Service, Oliver Morley, has said.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) Annual Conference yesterday, 28 February, on a panel discussion about the Financial Conduct Authority’s Advice Guidance Boundary Review (AGBR), Morley was asked by attendee, Just Group communications director, Stephen Lowe, how Pensions Wise can become a “majority support, not a minority support”, as it has received “stellar feedback” but is “flatlining”.

In response Morley, who began the role on 1 February 2024 having joined from the Pension Protection Fund, acknowledged that Pensions Wise is “capacity constrained” and he would be looking at freeing up resources.

“When it comes to Pension Wise and the whole of the MaPs business, what I’m looking for, is to be a good multi-channel business. What we will be looking to do over time is work out how to get the balance in terms of resources, make sure that Pension Wise is properly resourced, and we have a capacity to meet the needs of the industry and meet the needs of consumers.

“The satisfaction figures for Pension Wise are incredibly high, it is a bit of a star, so we need to make sure it is fully supported.”

Data released in August last year by Maps revealed that 90 per cent of Pensions Wise users felt they were well-informed about accessing their pension pots after a using the service.

On the AGBR, Morley, said: “For us the most important thing is the consumers. It is a statutory obligation for us and we are not focused on profitability… from our point of view we really want to see that the consumer gets a strong voice. The kind of advice that really works for them.”

“It is not necessarily only about what the industry is looking for we really want to see some good results in terms of consumer discussion. That’s where our focus will be. Beyond that we want to really engage to make sure the services we provide – Money Helper and Pensions Wise – are right for a new future in terms of that advice/guidance boundary.”

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