Thursday, 14 March 2019 11:38

Saga warns £3.2bn cashed out of pension pots without advice

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Saga, the provider of services to older people, has warned that £3.2bn may have been cashed out of pension pots without any financial advice following the Pension Freedoms.

The company says there is a “dire” need for advice and it was disappointed the Chancellor failed to recognise this in his Spring Statement this week.

Saga research has found that 84% of adults do not know what ‘Pension Freedom’ is and only 20% of people would consider seeking advice on the freedoms. It believes the vast majority of money cashed out so far has been without advice.

Saga has called for “urgent action” by the Chancellor to require people to take advice before cashing in their pension.

Managing director of Saga Money Jeff Bromage said the latest data underlined the need for financial advice.

He said: “At Saga, we are incredibly disappointed that, yet again, the Chancellor has failed to address the dire need for advice relating to Pension Freedom – particularly as we have found that 84% of adults in the UK do not know what Pension Freedom is.

“When Pension Freedom was first announced in 2015, the Government initially promised that all over-55s with DC pension  pots would be eligible for free pension advice through its Pension Wise service. This promise was later diluted to the Pension Wise service providing ‘guidance’.

“With financial advice deemed too expensive for many, we have seen a startling number of retirees simply accessing their pensions pots without seeking advice – over £3.2bn has been accessed in this manner and just 20% of people would consider seeking advice on Pension Freedoms.

“It is quite clear that there is a need to provide free advice to accompany this reform to prevent vulnerable savers from making a costly, ill-informed decision which could have wide-reaching long-term implications.

“We are calling on the Government to urgently review this ‘guidance’ provided by Pension Wise to improve the financial stability of the nation’s pensions.”

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