The delivery of government-backed financial support will be overhauled to make it easier for consumers to get guidance they need.
The government is seeking views on a single financial guidance body to be in place after autumn 2018. Launched today (19 December 2016), the consultation outlines how publicly funded debt advice, pensions and money guidance will be brought together into one body. This will ensure consumers can access the high quality, impartial financial guidance and debt advice that they need to make effective financial decisions.
The new body could also take on a strategic role, working with the charity sector and financial services sector to understand and meet consumer need in a value for money way.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said:
We want to help people take charge of their finances, and make the financial decisions that are right for them. This new body will ensure that help is readily available for people who need to access debt advice, information on their pensions or guidance on other money matters.
Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, said:
We want to ensure that everyone has access to high quality and impartial financial guidance, to help them make the most of their hard earned savings.
This new single body will be a place people can go for free, impartial financial guidance, and I look forward to hearing people’s views on our proposals.
The single financial guidance body will help consumers get the support they need to make effective financial decisions, and provide a simpler service to help consumers with multiple financial guidance needs. It will be responsible for:
- debt advice for those in debt problems
- guidance and information on matters relating to occupational or personal pensions, accessing defined contribution pots, and planning for retirement
- providing information to help consumers avoid financial fraud and scams
- guidance on wider money matters and co-ordinating and influencing efforts to improve financial capability
- co-ordination of non-governmental financial education programmes for children and young people
Ahead of the new body’s introduction the Money Advice Service (MAS), The Pension Advice Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise will continue to operate as normal.
The consultation will run until Monday 13 February 2017. The government welcomes and encourages submissions from interested stakeholders.