CAB celebrates success of pensions work

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Citizens Advice Northumberland has welcomed new independent figures which show the success of Pension Wise.

The charity hosts regular sessions, which are delivered by Pension Wise Guidance Specialists in many locations across the region.

An Ipsos Mori survey of nearly 2,000 Pension Wise customers across the UK revealed that 85% of people said that the guidance they received means they now have a better understanding of their pension options.

Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of those who have an appointment go on to take further action on their pension saving.

Following the pension reforms in April 2015, people approaching retirement have greater freedom over how they can use their pension pots. With a number of options available, people are now able to take a lump sum, take out an annuity or a mixture of both.

The most common actions taken by people after a Pension Wise appointment, were speaking to their pension provider (60%), making a decision on which option to take (57%), and calculating their retirement income (56%).

Pension Wise is a free and impartial government guidance service designed to help people understand what they can do with their pension savings. The research finds more than nine in 10 people (94%) who have used the service would recommend it to others.

Citizens Advice Northumberland offers face to face Pension Wise sessions which are available to book now. The 45 minute appointments are tailored to the individual, taking into account the value of their pension and their plans for retirement.

A Pension Wise appointment may help you if:

● You are approaching retirement or are 50 or over

● Have a defined contribution pension

Guidance appointments are also available on the telephone, delivered by the Pensions Advisory service. People can also get information and general guidance online at www.pensionwise.gov.uk.

Moira Macfarlane, chief executive of Citizens Advice Northumberland said: Citizens Advice offers face to face Pension Wise appointments at a number of sites across the region, including our own in Alnwick, Berwick, Hexham, and Blyth, and it’s great to know we’ve played our part in achieving these great results.

“Pensions can be a confusing topic but these figures show the real benefit people get from having a Pension Wise appointment. We’ve also had really positive feedback from people in Northumberland about how much they’ve got from their Pension Wise appointment - including one person who said ‘I now feel much more confident and have more knowledge regarding my pension pot’.”

If you want to find out if Pension Wise is for you and how to book drop into any Citizens Advice location or phone 0800 138 8292.