20th January 2015
Citizens Advice has announced the first 44 bureaux in England and Wales which will be offering face-to-face Pension Wise guidance sessions under a Government-backed initiative.
Each delivery centre will have between three and seven paid members of trained staff providing pensions guidance. Staff numbers will depend on local population and size of area covered by the delivery centre.
The bureaux will also use a range of outreach locations to deliver guidance throughout England and Wales to ensure maximum access to the service.
People will be able to go into any Citizens Advice Bureau to find out about the Pension Wise service, whether they’re eligible and be referred to book in with the nearest delivery centre.
People will also be able to access guidance and information over the phone from The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and online through the Pensions Wise website.
Citizens Advice said it is working with the Treasury to make sure as many people as possible can easily access a session. To maximise coverage the charity is expected to announce a small number of extra delivery centres soon.
It said that Pension Wise agents and caseworkers will receive “rigorous training” and will deliver the pensions guidance as developed by HMT, TPAS and Citizens Advice.
Staff will be assessed to ensure they meet Financial Conduct Authority standards before they start offering guidance to the public.
The Chancellor said that the free guidance would be available to coincide with the launch of new freedoms that allow people to choose how they draw their pensions from this April.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Pensions guidance will be crucial in helping people understand their options as they approach retirement age. These 44 Citizens Advice Bureaux selected as delivery centres will be key to bringing the Pension Wise service to life and making sure that as many people as possible can access the guidance.”
The first Citizens Advice Bureaux which will be Pension Wise delivery centres are:
Lincoln and District
East of England:
Central and East Northamptonshire
Diss, Thetford and District
Merton and Lambeth
Hastings and Rother 1066
Arun and Chichester
Worcester and WHABAC
Yorkshire and Humber:
Hull and East Riding
Hambelton and Richmondshire
Cardiff and Vale