MAPS should help bridge the gap between general guidance and personal financial advice | Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

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MAPS should help bridge the gap between general guidance and personal financial advice

01 July 2019
  • Money and Pension Service (MAPS) has an essential role in providing impartial, non-commercial and holistic pension guidance.
  • Increased public engagement can lead to better pension decision-making both when saving into a pension and when drawing it down.
  • PLSA believes MAPS should be given scope to provide stronger financial guidance without it being considered personal financial advice.

Responding to MAPS’s report on its initial listening phase conducted after launching the new joined-up service in April, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) said it strongly supports the work of the Money and Pension Service and wants to work hand in hand with it on financial capability and retirement saving.

MAPS plays a significant role in filling the advice gap by providing free and impartial, easy-to-understand guidance. The PLSA believes MAPS should be given greater scope to provide stronger financial guidance and make general recommendations without it being considered personal financial advice. The PLSA also supports measures to make it easier for guidance to be provided through employers and pension schemes.

Care should be taken, however, to ensure that MAPS’s requirement to focus on those ‘most in need’ and those ‘in vulnerable circumstances’ does not result in any drop in support for the very many people in the population who need support on pension saving. According to PLSA models, about half of the working age population is unlikely to achieve the Pension Commission’s Target Replacement Rates. While it is right that MAPS looks to help those in crisis, it should also use its wealth of pensions expertise to focus on people saving for retirement and those making decisions on how to draw down their retirement pot.

The PLSA would like MAPs to adopt its forthcoming Retirement Income Targets on the MAPs website and on the non-commercial Pensions Dashboard to be hosted by MAPs.

Nigel Peaple, Director of Policy & Research, PLSA, said:

“The PLSA and its members are fully supportive of MAPS and look forward to working closely with the guidance body. Many people find decision-making on pensions very confusing. We believe that MAPS’s trusted non-commercial status makes it ideally placed to help close the advice gap that means so many people feel unable to take complex financial decisions. It is vital that MAPS gives pensions the focus it needs as it set its new strategy. Most of us aren’t saving enough and we need to work together to ensure people achieve a better income in retirement.”

Click here to read the PLSA’s full response to the MAPS listening document.

Mark Smith, Senior PR Manager
 020 7601 1726 |  [email protected]k

Steven Kennedy, PR Manager
 020 7601 1737 | 07713 073024 | [email protected]