Guidance guarantee: Pension Wise locations revealed
Details of the government's flagship guidance guarantee are beginning to emerge. Last week we revealed that the official name is Pension Wise, and the Citizens Advice Bureau has announced the 44 locations where people will be able to get face-to-face guidance in England and Wales, with details for Scotland to follow.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is in the process of hiring 300 staff to provide the guidance, of which three to seven will work in each relevant centre. With three centres, that means London should have up to 21 staff offering guidance.
The FT has listed the locations that people will be able to get guidance. The following map shows where the centres will be, and a full list is included at the end of this post:
Although new staff are being recruited to provide the service, it is clear that parts of the country will be a long way from the nearest centre. Worse, the places that do have a centre may not be adequately equipped - Manchester will have only one, and London just three. The nation's busiest city will have between nine and 21 staff providing face-to-face guidance.
Part of this may be because Pension Wise is also being offered online and over the phone by The Pensions Advisory Service. If none of the locations are close to you or if you would prefer not to talk to someone in person, you will be able to visit the relevant website or talk to someone on the phone.
Time will tell how well the demand is coped with, but at first glance it does not look as though there are enough people or centres. If you are waiting for guidance before making any retirement decisions, it is worth remembering that guidance will not be comprehensive. Unlike regulated advice, guidance merely provides an overview of retirement options, but does not go in depth to discuss your circumstances. The government's website for Pension Wise has an overview of what the service will offer:
- what you can do with your pension pot
- the different pension types and how they work
- what’s tax-free and what’s not
If you do not want to wait until April for general guidance, you can contact us for free, regulated advice on 01634 733 163.
Do you think Pension Wise will meet demand? Let us know with a comment.
|East Midlands||Derbyshire Districts
Lincoln & District
Central & East Northamptonshire
Diss, Thetford & District
|London||Merton & Lambeth
|North East||North Tyneside
|North West||Cheshire West
Hastings & Rother 1066
Arun & Chichester
|West Midlands||Staffordshire Southwest
Worcester & WHABAC
|Yorkshire & Humber||Hull & East Riding
Hambelton & Richmondshire
Cardiff & Vale
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