Pension Wise pilot kicks off but numbers unclear

Pension Wise pilot kicks off but numbers unclear

People across the UK can now access telephone guidance through Pension Wise - though face-to-face appointments will not be available until 7 April.

More than 3,000 people signed up to take part in the pilot of Pension Wise this month in a number of locations across the UK.

Scotland’s pilot will be starting this week, according to a spokesman for that nation’s branch of Citizens Advice Bureaux.

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The Treasury has said that in the first two days after its Pension Wise advertising campaign started, traffic to the website reached nearly 50,000 views.

Of the 3,000 people who registered their interest in taking part in the pilot, the Treasury will select those who have a pilot going on in their area, and arrange guidance for them over the course of the month.

This comes after reports that the savers are still unable to make post-6 April appointments for the free guidance.

A spokesman for HM Treasury said: “We have been progressively rolling out the service by piloting the face-to-face and phone sessions over the past few weeks, and one arm of our service, the Pension Wise website, has been up and running since February and has been visited by many thousands of people.

“People can begin booking their telephone and face-to-face appointments as the staged roll out of the guidance service is entirely on schedule.”

On Tuesday the phone number for Pension Wise – 030 0330 1001 – was announced.

In January the Treasury said it would be selecting people for the pilot who correspond to its ‘priority group’ of people who want to take a decision on their pension in the very near term, as soon as the reforms have taken effect.

Last week, research by MGM Advantage found that 47 per cent of people aged over 55 were still not aware of the guidance service.

Adviser view

Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director of Kent-based Portal Financial, said: “I am hoping the guidance will give people more understanding, but there are a number of hurdles the client has to jump through in order to get it.”