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Government launches financial advice review

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The government has launched a review into how financial advice is delivered to consumers.

The Financial Advice Market Review will examine the “advice gap” the government’s pension reforms, which gave those at retirement age more choice over investing and withdrawing their savings, has created.

The government will also consider ways to encourage people to seek financial advice, addressing barriers that may currently deter them from doing so.

Economic secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said: “Making sure that our financial services sector supports working people at every stage of their lives is a key part of our long-term plan.

“That’s why we’ve launched a major new review to explore what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice, so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money.”

NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars said that the body welcomes the launch of the review.

“We want to see a market that works in the best interests of savers and we have been concerned by some of the advice barriers facing some savers accessing the new pension freedoms,” she said.

“Savers have told us they feel positive about the pension freedoms, but they are also aware of the risks they now face when managing their savings in retirement. While we welcome the review’s focus on providers, it’s also vital that pension schemes are included in its remit,” she added.

“Workplace pension schemes play a huge role in steering their members towards the best quality advice and guidance, and we call on HM Treasury and the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] to work with us in the coming months to consider how workplace pension schemes can play an important role in improving savers’ access to financial advice and delivering these new pension freedoms.”

HM Treasury and the FCA will lead the review. Nick Prettejohn, chair of Scottish Widows, will lead an expert advisory panel.