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Retirement guidance service pledges ‘campaigning’ voice

Retirement guidance service pledges ‘campaigning’ voice

Retirement Income Alliance, a membership-based pensions guidance body whose launch was announced last week, will go further than direct services such as the government’s own Pension Wise and will ‘campaign’ on major issues, its founder told FTAdviser.

Malcolm Small, founder of the service who is a former director of the Tax-Incentivised Savings Association and currently an adviser to the Institute of Directors on pension policy, said while he is a fan of Pension Wise, “we are going to do more”.

The new retirement service, announced last week, will offer information and tools at those nearing or in retirement. It will not offer a personalised service, but will offer members, including providers, tools and other resources to be used by those approaching retirement.

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Mr Small explained that the focus was on enhancing options open to consumers and that the organisation was not just focused on pensions, but a number of issues which could include equity release, starting a new business in the future, and the reality of working into retirement.

He added that the organisation will be campaigning on issues for members as they arise, something which Pension Wise will be unable to do as a governmental body.

“Anything we campaign on will be driven by what members are saying,” he said. “We expect to campaign - we will engage with people where we see there is a problem.”

The new body is focused on enabling better retirements for all, by offering the public, providers and employers a “unique”, objective resource to enable people to gain a better understanding of the options for securing and maintaining an adequate income in retirement.

The Retirement Income Alliance is a membership organisation primarily designed for individuals, but also for employers and retirement income provider firms.

Mr Small reiterated that the Retirement Income Alliance is not in competition with the government’s guidance service, but said that Pension Wise guidance cannot extend into some of the areas that the new organisation will be able to.

“It’s all about consumers and enhancing the options that are open to them - it’s not just pensions, it could be equity release, starting a new business in the future, what its like to carry on working, energy levels and how they vary as you get older.

“Its a resource for government and regulators - we are open to dealing with anyone who wants to have a better understanding of retirement income. We are starting to assemble resources needed to build interactivity in website.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com