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When you have a Pension Wise appointment - our privacy policy

When you use Pension Wise, we collect personal information about you so we can give you the right guidance about your pension options.

We collect and process your personal information using a lawful basis called ‘public task’. This means it lets us carry out a task which is in the public interest or part of our official functions, and which has a clear basis in law.

When you ask for a Pension Wise appointment using the GOV.UK website, the national Pension Wise contact centre, your local Citizens Advice or your employer, your personal details are passed to the nearest Pension Wise service so they can book your appointment.

We then collect more information from you during your Pension Wise appointment.

What information we ask for

We only record information that will help us give you the right guidance about your pension options.

During the booking stage we ask for your name, date of birth, address and telephone number.

During your Pension Wise appointment, we'll ask you about your pension pots, financial and family situation, and your health. We’ll ask your permission to record this information.

How we use your information

The main reason we need your information is to give you guidance about your pension options. Your information will be used to produce a document which summarises what was discussed in the appointment - you can take this away with you or have it sent to you by email.

We'll only access your information for other reasons if we really need to - for example:

  • for training and quality purposes
  • to investigate complaints
  • to get feedback from you about our services
  • to help us improve our services

Understanding people's pension queries

We use some information to create statistics about who we're helping and what pension queries are the most common. This information is always anonymised - you can't be identified.

This helps us improve our service. We might share these statistics with funders, regulators, government departments and publicly on our blogs, reports, social media and press releases.

When we share your information externally

Sometimes we share your personal information with other organisations - we only do this to help you with your query, or to monitor the quality of our services. We'll get your permission before doing this.

Organisations we share your data with must store and use it in line with data protection law - they can't pass it on or sell it without your permission.

Who we share your information with

We'll share some of your personal data with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This includes your name, email, address, age and appointment date. Details you discuss during the appointment won't be shared, unless we're investigating a complaint.

If you ask for a digital version of your Pension Wise appointment summary, we'll share your name and email address with the Government Digital Service so they can send you a copy.

If you've given us permission, we'll share your contact details with our research partner, Ipsos Mori. They might ask you to take part in some research about your experience of our service or what actions you took afterwards.

Storing your information

Your information is stored securely on our internal systems. All volunteers and staff who access your data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

Your guidance specialist will log all your details into our secure case management system.

The DWP keep records of your information for 2 years. At Citizens Advice, we keep your information for 6 years - at your appointment we'll ask for your permission to keep it for this long. If you want us to remove your information from our records after 2 years you can ask us to do this at pensionwisequeries@citizensadvice.org.uk.

Our case management systems are hosted within the European Economic Area (EEA) and wherever possible, the UK.

Your name, email, address and age are also stored by the DWP on a separate secure server based in the EU. If you want details about how they collect, use and store your data, you can contact them.

Contact us about your information

You can contact us at any time and ask us:

  • what information we've stored about you
  • to change or update your details
  • to delete your information

Send us a message at pensionwisequeries@citizensadvice.org.uk.

If you want to make a complaint

If you're not happy with how we've handled your data, you can make a complaint through our website.