The Government has today confirmed savers are to receive free independent guidance from the Money Advice Service (MAS) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) when given unfettered access to their pension pots from next year.
Commenting on the announcement, Matthew Phillips, Managing Director, Broadstone Pensions & Investments Limited, the independent pensions and investment expert, said:
"Today the Government has announced that it will provide free and impartial guidance for people retiring. As professional financial planners, we welcome the increase in knowledge and guidance available to consumers to aid them in making the right decisions at a crucial point in their lives.
"However, we still have concerns around the depth of the advice that will be provided, how it will be provided and what redress consumers will have if the guidance (if that is what it is) is incorrectly given.
"Successive governments have rightly placed greater emphasis on financial planners obtaining greater professional qualifications and education in, for example, ethics. The pool of qualified planners has diminished over the years.
"The Government now seems to want to allow unqualified individuals to provide "guidance" to consumers. With the new rules enabling individuals to take their entire pension out, what will this guidance look like?
"Understandably, we believe that obtaining good, independent advice that is specific to you is really important and will increasingly be so under the new rules, where the greater flexibility and choice, does mean that the risks of getting it wrong have increased."