27.3% of people who have had a face to face Pension Wise appointment in England and Wales also booked a Citizens Advice appointment for help on other issues.
Of those people who booked a separate Citizens Advice appointment, the most common reasons for seeking further help include: Benefits and tax credits (42%); financial capability including help managing money (29%); debt (14%) and employment (4%).
Citizens Advice delivers face to face Pension Wise guidance sessions in England and Wales.
In its written submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into pension freedom guidance, Citizens Advice said that access to free guidance on pensions has been crucial in helping people take control of their finances. It also identified opportunities to provide additional support including reviewing the one free appointment policy.
If a person visits Pension Wise at 50 to understand their options but then doesn’t want to access their pension until they are 60, Citizens Advice suggests they could be able to make another Pension Wise appointment.
Citizens Advice also highlights how Pension Wise sessions could be more tailored to an individual’s personal circumstances including offering answers on issues affecting pensions such as divorce and debt.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “People don’t make decisions about pensions in isolation. Our evidence shows people are also thinking about how their pension choices relate to tax, debt and how they wish to support their family.
“Guidance can be key to people making pension choices which are right for them. It’s vital that the support they receive recognises the competing pressures in their lives.
“We know people are getting what they need from a Pension Wise session but there is an opportunity to provide further support, whether that’s another appointment later in life or, for example, extra help around the implications for someone’s pension if they are divorced.”