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Govt to launch new debt and pensions advice service

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

A new service offering debt advice, money and pensions guidance is to be set up by the government.

The single body will replace the much-criticised Money Advice Service (MAS) as well as two pension guidance services – the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: “Our government wants to give ordinary people more control over the lives, and that includes their financial security. We strongly believe that creating one public guidance body is the best way of making it as easy as possible for people to access the help they need to get their financial questions answered.”

The Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, said: “A single guidance body will be more efficient and will help consumers make the right financial decisions, and we are committed to ensuring people can access the best free and impartial financial guidance possible.

“The next steps will involve consulting on the best way to design a single body model, so legislation to create new public financial guidance bodies will not be included in the Pensions Schemes Bill.”

The decision to scrap MAS was first announced by former chancellor George Osborne in this year’s Budget. Launched in 2010, MAS has faced extensive criticism from MPs and financial advisers, who are responsible for funding the free service, for being expensive and largely unnecessary as many of its services are offered through other organisations.

Details of when the new service will be launched have not been given.