Pension Wise guidance service to extend access

13 July 2015

Over 85,000 people have taken advantage of the new flexibilities for accessing pensions that were introduced in April 2015.

Detailed within the Summer Budget 2015, the government announced that following the successful launch of Pension Wise in April 2015, they will extend access to this free and impartial guidance service to those aged 50 and above, and will launch a comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign to further raise awareness of the service.

The government also wants to ensure that people can access the new flexibilities easily, and at reasonable cost. The government will consult before the summer on options aimed at making the process for transferring pensions from one scheme to another quicker and smoother, including in relation to any excessive early exit penalties. If there is evidence of such penalties, they will consider imposing a legislative cap on these charges for those aged 55 or over.

The government wants existing annuity holders to have the freedom to sell their annuity income. The government will set out plans for a secondary annuities market in the autumn, and agrees with respondents to the recent consultation that implementation should be delayed until 2017 to ensure there is an in-depth package to support consumers in making their decision.

The government is committed to supporting savers at every stage of their life. From April 2016 the government will deliver a major reduction in the level of tax on savings with the introduction of the Personal Savings Allowance, which will exempt the first £1,000 of savings income from tax for basic rate taxpayers and the first £500 for higher rate taxpayers, and the creation of a new £5,000 dividend allowance.