Savers book over 21,000 Pension Wise appointments during lockdown

Between 11 March and 2 June 2020, savers booked 21,663 guidance sessions with Pension Wise, the government has revealed.

In response to a written question, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, revealed that lockdown had not deterred savers from booking appointments, despite face-to-face appointments not being possible.

He said that the Money and Pensions Service (Maps), the umbrella organisation consisting of the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, had “successfully adapted its methods” for delivering Pension Wise services during the pandemic.

Opperman noted that it had been focussed on digital and telephone appointments and worked “proactively” with customers who were booked in for face-to-face sessions.

During the 2019/20 financial year there were 205,643 available appointments for Pension Wise, which Opperman said showed that the service had been “successful” in increasing demand for guidance.

Savers arranging appointments and using the digital service in 2017/18 increased from 87,000 to 167,000.

In response to a separate written question, Opperman noted that Maps had undertaken trials to gather evidence on the ways Pension Wise can help encourage more people to take guidance before accessing their pensions.

“We are now considering the outcome of the initial findings from the trials. However, we will not preemptively reach any conclusions,” he added.

“Once Maps, with Behavioural Insights Team, publishes an evaluation report of the trials in Summer 2020, we will use the evidence provided from the trials to help inform and assess the impact of the trials and conduct a consultation prior to implementing any regulations.”

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