Hargreaves Lansdown Group  

Tpas pushes for pension health check letters

Tpas pushes for pension health check letters

Michelle Cracknell, chief executive at guidance provider The Pensions Advisory Service, has called for a letter urging people to get a financial health check.

Speaking at the Retirement Solutions Forum event in London, Ms Cracknell highlighted the government has data about the nation's savers so it would make sense to send a letter that flagged the need to check your financial health.

Ms Cracknell pointed out the letter should work in the same way as an NHS letter that encourages people to get a health check and would make people aware of the need to take action to sort out their retirement savings.

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She said: "I think that is the way we should do it."

Earlier this year Ms Cracknell called on providers to stop trying to keep clients in "their own walled garden".

She said she was concerned providers were not doing enough to encourage people to shop around when picking a saving product.

Also speaking at the Retirement Solutions Forum conference held in London today (6 December), Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the age when savers receive a wake-up pack should be reduced to 50-years-old.

He added it wouldn't cost a great deal of money for the industry or the public to shift the age the packs are sent out at.

In February this year, then pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann suggested the age wake-up packs sent out to pension savers should be 50-years-old, instead of six months before retirement age as it stands now.

However, no action has been taken on this front by the government to date.

Wake-up packs have long been criticised.

In November last year, wake-up packs Baroness Altmann said the packs “simply don’t make people appreciate why they should contact Pension Wise”.

Mr McPhail added the industry could work with the government plus public bodies such as Pension Wise to deliver a simple wake-up message, which is accepted by the media and "becomes accepted wisdom".

He added a wealth check could be done at age 59 through Pension Wise or an adviser.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com