"It is crucial that anyone who has an interest in improving people’s ability to manage their money and pensions is able to contribute to the conversation about what’s needed."
The new Money and Pensions Service has launched today, bringing together the services previously delivered by the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.
The new government-backed guidance body will cover savings, credit use, debt advice, retirement and financial education and is calling on organisations across the UK to get involved in the development of its strategy.
The Service is embarking on a programme of 'listening events' until the end of June, helping to create a National Strategy for money and pensions as well as a three-year corporate plan.
The events will include stakeholder roadshows in 10 locations across the UK, offering stakeholders the opportunity to discuss what is needed to improve financial wellbeing in their local communities and at a national scale.
Those who are unable to attend events will also have the opportunity to give their written input.
Additionally, the Money and Pensions Service has released its business plan which sets out a series of key performance indicators.
The Service aims to deliver 205,000 pension freedoms transactions, a 21% increase from 2018/19, and 290,000 personalised pensions guidance sessions, a 26% rise.
For money guidance, the Service aims to deliver 170,000 contact centre sessions, a 3% increase from 2018/19.
The new Money and Pensions Service customer website is set to go live towards the end of 2019.
Until then, guidance will continue to be available through the websites of the previous component parts of the Money and Pensions Service – Pension Wise, the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service.
John Govett, chief executive at the Money and Pensions Service, said: “Improving the UK’s financial wellbeing is only possible through collective action, and engaging a wide community of organisations and businesses for their views is the first step. It is crucial that anyone who has an interest in improving people’s ability to manage their money and pensions is able to contribute to the conversation about what’s needed.”
Sir Hector Sants, chair of the Money and Pensions Service, commented: “Our vision is to create a society where everyone is making the most of their money and pensions. To do this, we need to change the relationship we have with money. Making financial decisions is not unlike shopping at the supermarket – consumers are confronted with many options and must decide what is the best choice for them based on what they need, on price and quality. There has been a lot of great work over the past few years to enable people to make more informed food choices; it’s time to think about financial wellbeing through a similar lens.
“With 47% of adults saying they do not feel confident about making decisions about financial products and services, its essential people feel empowered to engage more regularly and more confidently with their money and pensions, so they can enjoy greater financial wellbeing throughout their lifetimes.”
Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, added: “This Government wants to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to get all the help they need to make effective financial decisions throughout their lives. The launch of the Money and Pensions Service is a big step towards meeting that commitment, providing a one-stop-shop for high-quality, free and impartial information and guidance.
“The Money and Pensions Service will be there for those most in need as well as helping today’s younger generations to become the savvy savers of tomorrow. It will play a vital role too in the creation of ground-breaking pensions dashboards which will bring pensions into the 21st Century.”