Robin Walker capped off a busy week in Westminster with a visit to the Pension Wise team at Worcester Citizens Advice Bureau and WHABAC. It was familiar surroundings for the former CAB Parliamentarian of the Year who last month spoke at Worcester CAB’s 40th Anniversary lunch at the Cricket Club and presented awards to long-serving volunteers.
Robin’s visit on this occasion was to hear about the Government’s Pension Wise scheme, the free and impartial service to help people make informed decisions about their pensions and retirement available through Citizens Advice.
New pension freedoms were introduced in April last year and allow anyone over the age of 50, with a defined contribution pension, the most common type of pension, to make their own decisions about what to do with their own money. To make sure that these decisions are properly informed the Government has paid for 45 minute face to face advice sessions through the Citizens Advice Bureau, which can use its chain of branches around the country to reach communities across the UK and its trusted brand for personal, confidential advice to ensure people get the support they need.
Face-to-face appointments with pension specialists are available through Citizens Advice, with appointments locally taking place at Worcester CAB and since the service was launched last year, Guidance Specialists at the bureau have been helping people make sense of a subject many people find complex and confusing. Robin saw feedback forms during his visit which confirmed that the people who had taken up the opportunity had found the advice both friendly and informative.
Appointments are available at Worcester, Kidderminster, Gloucester, Hereford, Leominster, Malvern and Bromsgrove and Robin heard how despite press speculation that the service would be inundated with demand and much planning for how large numbers could be accommodated, there is plenty of capacity to see more people. Local pensions advisers are also available to come and speak to local businesses and employers about the support available.
Speaking after the visit Robin said:
“I was absolutely delighted to have been invited along to speak with the Pension Wise team and hear about the valuable support and guidance this service is providing to people in Worcester. CAB is a trusted source for impartial and confidential advice and there are few decisions on which it is more important to make the right decision than retirement. It was great to meet the friendly team and to see some of the feedback forms from people who have taken advantage of this already, which confirmed how very useful they found it.”
“Pensions can often be difficult to keep track of, even for the experts, and I am glad that there is now a free service that anyone over 50 can get a free consultation to help them understand their pension, the tax implications of all the different decisions they can take on retirement and details of all the choices available to them. I am glad that the Government I support has increased the choice available to pensioners and fixed a triple lock on the growth of the basic state pension but with auto-enrollment coming in and more people than ever saving for a pension it is really important that people get the most out of the savings they have put aside. This great service has the capacity to reach more people in Worcester and I would encourage everyone who is eligible to come forward and book their free appointment.”
Notes to editors:
For an appointment with Pension Wise call 01905 72892 or 0300 330 1001
More information on the Government’s Pension Wise scheme can be found here: https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk
The website for Worcester Citizens Advice Bureau and WHABAC can be found here: http://www.cabwhabac.org.uk