Your Industry  

Money Advice Service to focus more on workplace guidance

Money Advice Service to focus more on workplace guidance

The Money Advice Service has said it will increasingly focus on the workplace in order to encourage more people to save.

In its business plan for 2018/19 - which is expected to be its last before it it replaced by a single financial guidance body - Mas said one of its focuses would be understanding effective ways of encouraging people to save via the workplace.

It will also look at how fintech can improve the money management behaviours of those who need it most.

Article continues after advert

Mas also said it would work with other organisations, focusing on supporting providers best placed to reach certain groups of people and working with them to develop interventions that overcome engagement barriers.

As an example of both of these principles, Mas said that during 2018/19 it would be working with the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to co-fund a field trial with employers to test a concept called "sidecar savings".

This would be additional contributions employees can opt to make from their salary into a fully-liquid savings pot at the same time as making automated pension contributions.

The Mas business plan said: "We believe that the workplace will prove a very significant arena for evidence-based delivery over the longer-term.

"Although we have funded some workplace interventions in the current What Works Fund, in 2018/19 we are going to use some of the new What Works funding to spread our net wider across multiple workplace settings and providers, considering financial pressures faced by different categories of worker on modest incomes, possibly including the self-employed."

One of the "strategic aims" Mas said it has for 2018/19 was to help more people make use of good-quality, effective financial guidance or advice when they need it.

The business plan said: "We think that our biggest opportunity to take a significant step forward is to focus on the 10 per cent who recognised that they needed help but, for specific reasons, did not go on to seek it.

"There are two million people in the 'financially struggling' and 'financially squeezed' segments who fit these criteria."

Mas, together with The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, will transition to a new single body, funded through existing levies on pension schemes and the financial services industry, in the autumn.

The new single body will offer guidance on pensions, debt and other money issues.

Charles Counsell, chief executive of Mas, said: "In Mas we are excited about the prospect of the SFGB coming into existence.

"For us this underlines the direction of our travel, focused on: a strategic approach to financial capability and debt advice; the need to increase the supply of quality debt advice as set out in the Wyman review; evidence-based decision-making; segmentation; the prioritisation of our customer base; and partnership working.

"We anticipate that during the course of the year that this plan covers, Mas employees will transfer into the new organisation alongside colleagues from TPas and Pension Wise.