The Money Charity welcomes the decision to replace the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and the Pensions Advisory Service with a single body able to provide advice to address peoples’ ever more complex and financial questions.
As one of the first and loudest groups calling for a single body, this is a victory for us and our friends in the financial education sector. But above all, it is a step forward for people whose debts, budgeting skills, savings, pensions, and assets are all inseparable parts of complicated financial decision making, and who need a service they can rely on to guide them through all of this.
The Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions had initially proposed one body for ‘money guidance’ and another for pensions. In a world where pensions saving and retirement income is ever more linked to saving and other life-long financial behaviours, and government policies such as the Lifetime ISA are further blurring the boundary between general savings and pensions, it never made sense to have two organisations meeting a single bundle of needs. We are therefore delighted that the government has listened and reconsidered.
We look forward to playing a full part on the design of the new service as it is consulted on in the coming months, and hope that other things we called for, such as committing resources to financial capability, as much as debt and pensions and retaining a public-facing brand for the new body are also reconsidered.
Our original consultation response can be read here.