WEALTH at work has launched a telephone based guidance service to offer support to employees and pension scheme members facing life changing decisions about their pensions and lifetime savings.
The new service has been developed in recognition of the demand on employers and trustees to support employees and members with the complex financial decisions they face at-retirement.
Its UK telephone based helpline is available to those who are approaching retirement. It will help them understand their pensions, including defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) schemes and any other pensions and lifetime savings they may have.
Using a structured set of questions and prompts, its guidance team will discuss scheme specific options and the relationship to other lifetime savings – all in order to outline the options available, including highlighting risks and signposting to Pension Wise and access to financial advice when required.
Following the call, employees and members will receive a written report of their options, including a pre-retirement checklist of things to consider.
Importantly, employers or schemes will receive a confirmation to record that a guidance session has occurred, meeting the Pension Regulator’s requirements surrounding providing risk warnings.
Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, comments: “Freedom and choice in pensions changed the retirement landscape considerably. Whilst offering a great deal of flexibility and opportunity, the pension changes also carry many pitfalls and risks.
“Employers and trustees are coming under increasing pressure to support their employees and members in getting good outcomes from their pension savings.
“But without the right help and guidance many could be at significant risk of making costly mistakes such as paying too much tax, or falling prey to devious scams.
“Financial guidance offers the support employees and members need to help them clarify elements of their financial situation and to gain a deeper level of knowledge around their options.
“For many, financial guidance will answer their initial questions; however, some may also benefit from specific recommendations based on their own circumstance, which financial advice can provide.
“Financial guidance can act as a gateway into structured financial advice, as once an employee or member has been through guidance they start to recognise all the complex things they need to understand around their pensions, savings, longevity, tax, health and so on. In doing so, they then realise that they need specialist advice on their options – thus avoiding making poor decisions.
“Employers and trustees are perfectly placed to provide access to a breadth of services including financial education, guidance and advice to help drive informed decisions that result in financial security at-retirement. I am pleased that WEALTH at work is at the leading edge of this crucial service with many employers and trustees now putting appropriate provision in place to ensure good outcomes for retirees.”
Volvo Group UK, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines have recently rolled out the service to their workforce.
Nick Wheeler, Chair of Trustees, Volvo Group UK Retirement Plan comments: “The Trustees were looking for a service which could best prepare our members to maximise their retirement income with all the flexibilities now available to them under the pension freedoms. We explored a number of options and the telephone guidance service offered by WEALTH at work ticked all our boxes. The service is tailored to our members, objectively focused and competitively priced.”