This memorandum to the Work and Pensions Select Committee for a one-off evidence session on Personal Accounts focuses principally on developments since the Committee’s last report on Personal Accounts and reiterates the importance of generic financial advice in supporting the new scheme.
- Information alone will not be enough to meet people’s advice needs. People will need advice and guidance that enables them to understand their pension choices alongside their wider financial decisions and circumstances. The key to achieving this is to increase access to generic financial advice
- Since the Committee last reported on Personal Accounts, a strong consensus has developed on this issue. The Foundation has also developed a set of ‘advice protocols’ which we believe could form the basis for the advice and guidance that should be provided alongside Personal Accounts
- Ministers made clear during the passage of the Pensions Bill that information and communications should be a key priority for the new Delivery Authority; this should therefore be reflected in the legislation extending the Authority’s powers which is due to come before Parliament in the next session
- The Delivery Authority should liaise with the Thoresen Review as it develops its proposals and, once the Review has reported, should give priority to working with any body established to take forward the Review’s recommendations