CoronavirusJun 16 2020

Maps adapts strategy to focus on Covid-19 support

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Maps adapts strategy to focus on Covid-19 support

The Money and Pensions Service (Maps) has changed its priorities after seeing a drop in demand for pensions guidance and a shift towards other financial matters due to coronavirus.

Maps said it has seen an initial drop in overall demand for pensions guidance, but has received an increased number of calls from savers concerned about the impact of market volatility on their pension savings, people unsure whether they should push back their planned retirement, and others dealing with the impact of bereavement or ill health.

To deal with this the organisation has adapted its original overarching priorities to place a greater focus on Covid-19 and the need for pensions and money guidance.

Maps' corporate plan for 2020/21, published this morning (June16), showed Maps plans to deliver 580,000 debt advice sessions, 255,000 money guidance sessions, 440,000 tailored pensions guidance sessions and 1.8m digital interactions.

Its budget for 2020/21 is £140.9m, split up as £129.7m for resource spending, £400,000 for capital spending and £10.8m is for the pension dashboard programme.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, chief executive at Maps, said: “Our vision of everyone making the most of their money and pensions doesn’t just apply in the better times but is also about increasing resilience for when the bad times hit.

"To realise our vision, and make a real difference, we need to reach more people throughout their whole lives, an ambition which can only be achieved by working closely with our many, committed stakeholders and partners.”

Maps' original objectives were to first “create a movement” of many different organisations working together towards the same goal.

This will now include leading a coordinated response to support people affected by Covid-19, both before and after the crisis, as well as providing input to key policy-making decisions.

Its second objective was to “deliver for customers” by leading sector-wide initiatives to enhance the quality and capacity of guidance services and developing pensions dashboards.

This has been altered to place more focus on developing a pensions dashboard “to give people the tools and information needed to take ownership of their pensions by enabling them to see all their pensions in one place”. 

Lastly, Maps plans to create a fitting organisation for the future by being responsive to needs of savers throughout the crisis and being able to offer guidance in certain areas in a short timescale.

The corporate plan was due to be published at the beginning of April but was delayed to allow a review of how priorities will be flexed in response to the pandemic.

Alongside areas of short-term focus it is also laying the groundwork for the delivery of its UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing in the next ten years.