Stronger nudges 'no substitute for advice'

“This could push some people towards advice where the adviser will be able to help determine the best course of actions to suit their individual needs.

“Through all of this we shouldn’t lose sight of the end goal which is to encourage more people to seek regulated financial advice, although we need to acknowledge the challenge of advice capacity and how we address this.”

Issues with timing

Industry commentators however raised issues with the timing of the nudges, as in many cases they would be introduced after the saver has decided to access their pension.

Curtis Banks’ List said this could make the nudge easy to ignore or result in it being seen as “another hoop to jump through” when accessing one's cash.

She said: “The FCA’s own research has shown that nudges like these need to appear earlier in the decision-making process to be effective, so hopefully the final rules will be updated accordingly and the stronger nudges will have a better chance of increasing engagement with pensions and Pension Wise.”

Selby agreed, saying it would be better to remove the link to accessing a pension and instead book the appointment on the person’s behalf earlier on, for example within two months of someone reaching their 50th birthday.

Selby added: “There needs to be a much broader review of the best points in time to nudge savers towards Pension Wise.

"In all likelihood people will be receptive to guidance nudges at different times in their lives – including before and after they have started taking a retirement income.

"There should also be a consideration of the role played by providers and non-commercial organisations in providing retirement guidance.”

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