Guidance guarantee to be delivered under single brand

Communication strategies to engage staff with pensions auto-enrolment

The government’s guidance guarantee will be delivered under a single brand rather than under the Pension Advisory Service (TPAS) or Money Advice Service (MAS) brands, confirmed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) annual conference.

The government announced in July that its guaranteed guidance on pensions choice will be provided by independent organisations, such as TPAS, rather than by pension providers.

Speaking at the NAPF conference on 16 October, Maggie Craig, interim head of department for savings, investments and distribution at the FCA, said: “There will be a single brand for the guidance service. In terms of branding and delivery partners, watch this space, but I hope you won’t have to watch for too much longer.”

The government announced on 18 October that MAS will not deliver pensions guidance sessions to savers when the Budget reforms come into force next year. TPAS will deliver non-face to face guidance and Citizens Advice will deliver this face-to-face.

Craig also highlighted how the guidance will be designed to help employees decide on the pension freedoms options they can take. She said it will tell people what they ought to do but will also have relevant personalisation.

She said: “We would expect people to bring information about their pension pots to the guidance session. The guidance will make suggestions such as, if you have a complicated set of circumstances, you might want to take full advice.”

The guidance guarantee will come into force from April 2015.

Craig added: “The guidance service will be up and running in 2015 but we will have to change and develop as we learn what works best for [employee] customers.

“The guidance guarantee is slotting into a very complex legislative agenda. There’s lot of moving parts and we are going to have to develop success measures for the guidance.”

The FCA will publish a policy statement in late autumn on its consultation, which received 150 responses, on the guidance available.

Craig said: “We want to get policy statement on guidance as soon as we can. However there are constraints, as we have been working with the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions. We have had to consult [before] legislation had been put before the House [of Commons].”