New public body offering debt advice, money and pensions guidance to be set up

“We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to access the financial guidance they need”, say government Ministers

Consumers will be able to find the help they need more easily on key financial matters from budgeting to getting their pensions questions answered.

Reflecting on the options available to government, the Economic Secretary and the Minister for Pensions have today agreed to take forward plans to develop a single public financial guidance body which is responsible for delivering debt advice, money and pensions guidance to the public.

Earlier this year the government consulted on setting up a two body delivery model for government-sponsored guidance. This included replacing the Money Advice Service (MAS) with a new, streamlined, money guidance body, and bringing together the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise into a new, pension guidance body.

Industry and consumer finance groups raised concerns about how two bodies might work together effectively and whether a single body would provide a better service for consumers.

Ministers have listened to these concerns and have decided that a single body would be better able to respond to the different financial guidance needs of consumers, making it easier for them to get access to the help they need to make effective financial decisions.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said:

"Our government wants to give ordinary people more control over the lives, and that includes their financial security. We strongly believe that creating one public guidance body is the best way of making it as easy as possible for people to access the help they need to get their financial questions answered."

The Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, said:

"A single guidance body will be more efficient and will help consumers make the right financial decisions, and we are committed to ensuring people can access the best free and impartial financial guidance possible."

The next steps will involve consulting on the best way to design a single body model, so legislation to create new public financial guidance bodies will not be included in the Pensions Schemes Bill.