Department for Work & Pensions  

DWP borrows £35m for new guidance body

DWP borrows £35m for new guidance body

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is looking to borrow £35m from the UK contingencies fund to launch the Single Financial ​Guidance Body (SFGB), due to become operational in January.

In a written statement to Parliament earlier this week (December 17), Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said the DWP supplementary estimate for 2018-19, which will contain this expense, won’t be published until February, and not authorised until mid-March.

"In order to continue to provide these services to the public, DWP has therefore requested a contingencies fund advance," Mr Opperman said.

Managed by HM Treasury, the contingencies fund is used to finance payments for urgent services in anticipation of parliamentary provision for those services becoming available, and to provide funds required temporarily by government departments for necessary working balances, or to meet other temporary cash deficiencies.

The SFGB will merge the current government guidance services: Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. Sir Hector Sants will be its chairman and John Govett its chief executive.

The plans for the new organisation were announced by George Osborne, the previous chancellor, in 2015 to create a more "joined-up approach".

The body was originally planned to launch in autumn this year but this has now been pushed back to January 2019.

Among other tasks, the SFGB will be in charge of hosting a non-commercial version of the pension dashboard, which the government plans to launch in 2019.