The LITRG said the merger of three money advice services is a great opportunity for the new unified service to better help those on low incomes.
The Pension Advisory Service, Pension Wise and Money Advice Service will merge into a single UK-wide body, as announced in today’s Queen’s Speech.
Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman, said:
“We welcome the unification of the currently fragmented pensions and money advice services and their replacement with a single financial advice agency across the UK. It is a great opportunity to create a service that better helps those on low incomes, particularly advice on pensions.
“Advice on money matters has previously been delivered in penny packets by bodies specialising in discrete areas, sometimes not well integrated with other areas which can affect financial decisions. In particular the interaction with tax and benefits can have major and long-term effects, often unforeseen at the time of the decision, and those without professional representation can be hard-pressed to find the necessary information and knit it together to find the best course to take. After all, decisions about pensions are taken at a time when a person may yet have 20 or 30 years of non-working life to plan for.
“The new unified body must appreciate that the unrepresented often have more difficulty in accessing websites or recording telephone information, so the provision of face-to-face contact will be an essential element of their proposed service, as will its ability to connect the client seamlessly with appropriate specialist agencies.”