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 guidance about your pension options.

We collect and process your personal information using a lawful basis called ‘public task’. This means we can carry out a task which is in the public interest or part of our official functions and 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 advise you 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 emailed to you.

We'll only get access to your information for other reasons if we 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 and government departments and publicly on our blogs, reports, social media and press releases.

When we share your information

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 Money and Pensions Service (MAPS). The MAPS is the organisation that runs Pension Wise. You can find out about the MAPS on their website.

The information we share with the MAPS 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.

Citizens Advice and MAPS are both responsible for keeping your personal information safe and making sure we follow data protection law. This means we're a 'joint data controller' for your personal information.

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.

If you get advice in person

NHS Test and Trace or local public health organisations might ask us to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit. This is to help track cases of coronavirus.

We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to share this information under data protection law - it helps us keep you and the public safe.

We won’t:

  • share information about the reason for your visit

  • share your contact details with anyone other than Test and Trace or a local public health organisation

Unlike most situations, we won't ask for your consent before we share your contact details. If you don't want us to share this information you can tell your local office you want to opt out. If you don’t want to give us your contact details at all, we’ll still be able to give you advice in person.

NHS Test and Trace might contact you if you visited at the same time as someone who tested positive for coronavirus. You can:

If you have the NHS Test and Trace app on your phone you can ‘check in’ at some of our local Citizens Advice offices. You can still get advice even if you don’t check in on the app. You can: 

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.

You can find more information about how MAPS stores your information on the Pension Wise website.

At Citizens Advice, we keep a record of what was discussed at your face-to-face or telephone appointment for 6 years. At your appointment we'll ask for your permission to keep it for this long.

If you have a telephone appointment with us, we record and store your call for up to 6 years and then delete it.

Our case management systems are hosted in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK.

Calls are recorded by our trusted partner, stored within the UK or EEA, and processed in line with UK data protection law. Recordings are usually held for 2 years and then deleted.

On rare occasions it may be necessary to process data outside of the EAA, where this applies the lawful and relevant data protection safeguards are in place.

Your name, email, address and age are also stored by the MAPS on a separate, secure server based in the EU. If you want details about how the MAPS collects, uses and stores your data, you can find out more on the Pension Wise website

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

You can email us 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 on our website.