Baroness (Ros) Altmann, when addressing the PFS financial planning symposium in London last week by videolink, spoke of the important role financial advice had to play in the new pensions landscape.
She said: “I am absolutely sure that we really do need to embed financial education and guidance somehow into the auto-enrolment process.
“We have worked financial planning into the curriculum at schools, and I think pension providers will be well served by developing products, modules and services that will help educate people in the workplace.
“This is an opportunity for the pensions industry and for financial advisers as well.”
Baroness Altmann also said financial advisers have a critical role to play in explaining the new state pension to clients.
She said: “The importance of explaining the new state pension, helping people understand that there will be a base on which to build private savings, is an important job for me and for you.”
Also addressing the symposium was the PFS’s new president, Brendan O’Ciobhain, who opened the event as one of his first official duties.
Mr O’Ciobhain said raising the profile and value of professional financial advice will be the theme of his year in office, adding: “It is a privilege to be elected president of our professional body, which is seeing a huge increase in engagement with our membership over recent years.
“I find it extremely encouraging to see the society take a very positive and proactive role in supporting professional financial planning across all areas and really build a united profession that serves the needs of our 36,000 members and the great British public.”
Colin Low, a chartered financial planner with Suffolk-based Kingsfleet Wealth, said: “We feel we have got a role to educate people in finance as much as anything else, but it is a bit like teaching an 11-year-old how to be a car mechanic – unless you have got the opportunity to put it into practice, it will get lost over time.”