What is pension guidance?

Pension Wise is a service offering free guidance to those at or near retirement. It’s designed to help you understand your options for taking an income from your pension. These options are now wider than ever before, bringing more freedom of choice – but also the greater risk of unwise choices.

Decisions made at retirement will affect the rest of your life, and may also have an impact on how much you could leave to your loved ones. So how can you make every effort to ensure that your decision is best for you?

Is it advice or just guidance?

In casual speech, ‘advice’ and ‘guidance’ may be used to mean the same thing. This could be why research indicated that 22% of UK consumers thought the government would be offering free advice1. But in the language of financial planning, there are major differences between the two, as shown here.

The need for advice

Pension Wise will play a useful role by prompting people to consider their options. However, this free guidance service cannot tell people which courses of action may be most suitable for them. Any such recommendation needs to consider each person’s circumstances and also the full range of products from across the whole of the market. This is beyond the scope of guidance – which is why it is so important to approach retirement with the help of a regulated financial adviser. Find one here.

You can also receive a free check-up on your pension arrangements, plus £50 off the cost of any subsequent advice by going here.


1 Based on unbiased.co.uk research conducted via Opinium Research through an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 29 April to 2 May 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.