Access to free advice and guidance on pensions

Access to free advice and guidance on pensions

From April 2015, around 320,000 individuals retiring each year with defined contribution pension savings will be able to access them as they wish, subject to their marginal rate of tax.

People who wish to access their defined contribution pension flexibly will be able to go to a local Citizens Advice Bureau across the UK for free expert face to face guidance, or receive free telephone guidance from the Pensions Advisory Service.

An online service will also be designed by the government as part of the scheme. The face to face service will be delivered by Citizens Advice across England and Wales, Citizens Advice Scotland and Citizens Advice Northern Ireland.

The Chancellor promised earlier this year that people would be able to access free, impartial pensions guidance to ensure that they can take full advantage of the new pension freedoms and manage their hard-earned money in a way that works for them.

The government will legislate next week to underpin the guidance, including an amendment which will make imitation of the guidance service a criminal offence.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The right guidance can be the key to a financially stable retirement. People who have diligently saved year after year towards their retirement deserve to choose how to make the most of their pension pot and good guidance is central to helping people make the right decisions for them.

“As a trusted, independent charity, Citizens Advice is in a unique position to deliver face to face pensions guidance. We have 75 years’ experience working at the heart of communities, helping people get to grips with their finances. It’s a natural fit for us to help people understand their pension options and make choices for their future.”