MPs: Pension Wise should mention housing wealth
In the report, entitled ‘pension freedom guidance and advice’, the committee recommended for the government to work with the Financial Conduct Authority and guidance providers to offer consumers a more personalised service better tailored to their needs.
The report read: “Pension Wise guidance is currently too narrow for too many consumers. Decisions about retirement income products are not best made in isolation from information on property wealth, benefit entitlements, tax implications, care costs or debts.
“We recommend the government work with the FCA and guidance providers to develop a more holistic Pension Wise service that offers more personalised support.”
Nigel Waterson, chairman of the Equity Release Council, was pleased that property wealth is finally being talked about when it comes to Pension Wise.
He said: “The recommendation to widen pension guidance to include housing wealth is an important recognition that property is one of the key assets for financing retirement.
“It comes as a welcome endorsement to support a generation who often face the problem of being asset rich but cash poor. Individual financial circumstances differ for people entering retirement, and the guidance process needs to reflect this if it is to operate to its full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society.
“There are still many people approaching later life with insufficient pensions or savings to guarantee a comfortable retirement, and the government must look to the wider range of solutions to address this, including the potential benefits of equity release.
“People should be supported to consider all assets at their disposal and we will look forward to working with the government and the FCA to aid the process of broadening Pension Wise’s guidance.”
The Work and Pensions Committee was made up of:
Rt Hon Frank Field MP (Labour, Birkenhead) (Chair)
Debbie Abrahams MP (Labour, Oldham East & Saddleworth)
Heidi Allen MP (Conservative, South Cambridgeshire)
Ms Mhairi Black MP (Scottish National Party, Paisley & Renfrewshire South)
Ms Karen Buck MP(Labour, Westminster North)
John Glen MP (Conservative, Salisbury)
Richard Graham MP (Conservative, Gloucester)
Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck MP (Labour, South Shields)
Craig Mackinlay MP (Conservative, South Thanet)
Jeremy Quin MP (Conservative, Horsham)
Craig Williams MP (Conservative, Cardiff North)