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Widespread industry support for automatically booking Pension Wise sessions

Meeting

Automatically booking Pension Wise sessions received a positive reception at Work & Pensions Select committee, with the below comments illustrating the industry’s widespread support. 

Widespread industry support for automatically booking Pension Wise sessions at Work & Pensions Select Committee

Automatically booking Pension Wise sessions – with an option to opt out – was shown to have broad industry support at the Work & Pensions Select Committee session, along with the need to provide support earlier while people were still making up their minds how best to access pension cash.

This comes after the FCA appeared to try to close down the debate on pre-booking guidance sessions in its recent ‘Stronger nudge’ consultation (CP21/11) by stating policymakers had debated the issue and decided not to support compulsory appointments.

Among those giving evidence to MPs yesterday on the subject of encouraging higher levels Pension Wise appointments as a way of pre-empting poor pension decisions, were:

Chris Brooks, Age UK, said:

“We’ve been in favour of putting in place an auto-appointment service… book people into appointments unless they opt out which probably is the only way to do it. At the moment having an auto-appointment process does not seem to be on the table… but their hands are probably tied so it is up to ministers to push through something that will deliver…”

Laurie Edmans, Financial Inclusion Commission, said:

“Me and my colleagues on the Financial Inclusion Commission have spent a great deal of time on this and we strongly support the idea. There would be a commercial benefit to industry from a more active and engaged customer base… That concept could at least be trialled and I believe it should be. (Getting more people to guidance) “seems to be a logical step from pretty well every angle you choose to look at it.”

Yvonne Braun, ABI, Pension Wise, said:

“[It] is a very good information service, that we believe should be trialled as an auto-booking service.”

Renny Biggins, The Investment and Savings Association, said:

“It needs to happen earlier in the journey before people make their mind up, to help them make informed decisions. It can’t happen after the event, after the horse has bolted.”

Tess Page, Association of Consulting Actuaries, said:

“I think (automatic appointments) can certainly play a role. I think we can all agree that Pension Wise is doing a great job for what it is offering to those who make the appointments now and the feedback is very positive.”

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