Cross-party MPs push Pensions Bill amendment to boost guidance take-up

Jenna Brown reports

People looking to access their retirement funds could be given a pre-booked Pension Wise appointment if an amendment to the latest Pensions Schemes Bill goes through.

A group of cross-party MPs backed the amendment which has been submitted ahead of the upcoming Report State due to take place on Monday (16 November).

Work and Pensions Committee chair Stephen Timms submitted the amendment which aims to increase the use of pension guidance. It follows a similar amendment tabled by Timms at Committee Stage last week, which was withdrawn.

Pension Schemes Bill will be law by the end of the year

The amendment would “ensure members of pension schemes receive a Pension Wise appointment prior to accessing their pension”. Further appointments would be booked yearly until taken up or a confirmed opt-out is received. Appointments would be first scheduled five years ahead of their retirement date.

The clause has been co-signed by Conservative and SNP MPs, giving it cross-party support. Supporters include Nigel Mills, Richard Thomson, Neil Gray and former pensions minister Angela Eagle.

Pension Wise is a government-backed guidance service available to everyone over 50 looking to access their retirement savings.