The Treasury has announced that people are to be given free independent advice prior to accessing their pension pot.
There was a concern that following the new pension rule changes which come into force next April, prospective pensioners could be led astray and make ill-judged investments.
Independent organisations (including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK, the Pensions Advisory Service and the Money Advice Service) will provide the free advice, via face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, or websites. This will be funded by a levy on financial firms.
Chancellor George Osborne said: “This is going to be free and impartial guidance for millions of people who for the first time are going to have access to the money they've saved through their life. We're going to work with people like the Citizens Advice Bureau, with Age UK and others to make sure people get the best possible guidance and that this is genuinely impartial.”
The news was met with disbelief in some quarters, with major firms saying that this was a sticking plaster solution to a genuine concern that people will be completely unprepared when having to make crucial decisions about their financial future.
Here's what we say: Free Professional Pension Guidance? Fat Chance