The Money Advice Service (MAS) will keep its budget flat for the upcoming year as it prepares for costs associated with its merger into a single government guidance body.
MAS’s overall annual budget for the 2017/2018 year will remain steady at £75m, though the money guidance budget will see £3m wiped off its allowance to go to the debt advice budget.
The organisation stated that there may be some “transitional changes, and therefore costs” in order to allow MAS to merge with The Pensions Advisory Service and Pensions Wise to form the government’s proposed Single Financial Guidance Body.
MAS stated that it will have a better idea of the exact costs the transition will cost the organisation once a timetable and process are set out, but added that it would be able to keep up with any costs from reserves.
In December last year the government released its view that the best future model would be a single financial guidance body responsible for delivering money, debt, and pensions guidance.
MAS voiced support for the proposed model as consumers’ money problems often overflow into multiple categories, from debt to pensions.
Caroline Rookes, chief executive of the MAS, announced that she will retire once a successor has been chosen, and added that it has been a tough year for staff.
“The uncertainty about the future scope and shape of a money guidance body has naturally made this a difficult year for the MAS’s staff. I want to pay tribute to my staff, fellow directors and board who have all remained focused on the task and given me great support.”