Guest comment: Signposting guidance

Providing savers with the right information to enable them to make the best decisions is essential to ensuring good pensions outcomes.

To that end, we are again reminding trustees that from this month (June 2022), they have a legal duty to ensure savers receive the information they need before accessing their pension.

From 1 June, trustees must offer to book their members an appointment with Pension Wise when they apply to access their flexible benefits.

Pension Wise, a government service from MoneyHelper run by The Money and Pensions Service (Maps), provides savers with free and impartial guidance about the options for accessing their DC pension savings.

Earlier this year, we published guidance detailing what trustees must do. Trustees are required to offer to book members a Pension Wise appointment, or give them details of how to do so.

If they decline the offer or are unable to book a convenient appointment, they must provide an opt-out confirmation.

Trustees will need to inform members that they cannot progress their application without this, or confirmation they have received guidance. Trustees must also record whether a member has either received guidance or opted out.

As long as certain criteria are met, trustees can choose which forms of communication best suit.

Since the introduction of pension freedoms in 2015, savers have had far greater flexibility to decide how and when to access their DC savings.

These choices can be complex, so it’s crucial trustees ensure savers receive the right guidance, at the right time.

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