Pensions  

2,000 IFAs sign up to Mas pensions guidance directory

2,000 IFAs sign up to Mas pensions guidance directory

Nearly 2,000 advisers have signed up to the Money Advice Service’s retirement adviser directory since registration opened in January

The directory will go live at some point before 6 April - though no definitive date has been set.

Last year the government chose the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and The Pensions Advisory Service to deliver the Pension Wise guidance service, in what has been interpreted as a snub to Mas.

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But since then the Treasury has said the guidance service would direct any consumers interested in regulated financial advice to the Mas directory.

So far more than 1,900 advisers from 900 firms across the UK have registered since the process started on 27 January.

A spokesman for Mas said: “The service continues to talk to financial advisers to ensure as many as possible appear on the directory.

“It is currently working with a number of large firms about the practicalities of carrying out a bulk upload of their data, which will give a significant boost to the numbers of advisers on the directory.

“The service is also developing more extensive guidance around retirement to complement and supplement the government’s Pension Wise service.

“This will help people who are 55 and over with the key issues of budgeting for retirement, looking at different sources of finance available to them, including the state pension, investments and also long-term care needs, and guiding them through the different options and products available.”

Unbiased.co.uk said it lists around 15,500 IFAs, of which more than 12,000 specialise in retirement advice.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “There are already well-established routes to advice that advisers, providers and other bodies such as TPAS and the FCA have been pointing consumers to for years, and so the creation of the Mas directory has involved a certain amount of duplication, which could be a reason why uptake hasn’t been as high as expected.

“Retirement planning is by far the most searched for area of advice on our site so we know that people require detailed information to help them with these decisions, and it is this detail that is currently lacking.”

The spokesman for Mas went on to add that there was no deadline for signing up to the directory and that an adviser could register once the service goes live.

Adviser view

Jonothan McColgan, director of Bath-based Combined Financial Strategies, said: “I am already signed up.

“I think these changes in pension legislation are one of the biggest opportunities for us in a while. There is so much that can go wrong and so much we can do for people.

“Ultimately, this is signposting people to us and we have to take advantage of it.”