“Many aspects of pension freedoms are working very well but there are aspects which give cause for concern. While pension withdrawals are at relatively prudent levels, there is worrying evidence of people withdrawing money from pension pots and taking unnecessary tax hits.
“Today’s data from Pension Wise shows the service is helping people to make better decisions about how they save for their retirement, and even more importantly, its evaluation supports the view that Pension Wise is arming people with the tools they need to avoid being scammed out of their life savings. An impressive nine in ten customers feel confident in their ability to avoid scams after an appointment with Pension Wise which is one of their key objectives. Ultimately, government led projects like this are trusted by the public and so arguably even more should be done to raise awareness of the service as it transitions into the ‘Single Financial Guidance Body’.
“Another positive figure from the Pension Wise’s evaluation is that post appointment 72% of customers calculate the income they will need in retirement vs. just 34% of non-users which indicates that an appointment with the body is driving engagement with retirement planning.
“This illustrates that a midlife-MOT to assess an individual's retirement provision, at an earlier stage in life when they have time to do something about it, could be a critical intervention to shepherd people towards the right retirement choices and ultimately enable them to have a prosperous old age.”