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Consumers need clarity over pension advice requirements

10 February 2016

Greater clarity around advice requirements is needed for consumers looking to access their pension, says Citizens Advice.

Responding to government plans to address excessive pension exit fees and transfer delays the national charity said expanding Pension Wise would help people better understand the time it takes to move their pension and what costs this can entail.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice said:

“Pension transfer delays and exit charges risk putting consumers off making the right pension decision for them.

“The expansion of Pension Wise to address pension transfer times will help consumers get a better understanding of the time it takes to move their pension, and it’s good to see the Government is taking action to protect people from excessive fees and delays.

“The requirement to take financial advice for people who have a certain size or type of pensions offers an important safeguard to protect consumers.  But as it stands many people report that they don’t get enough warning or explanation about why they are required to take financial advice. This can have a knock on effect on the time and money it takes for them to access their pensions.

“Providers need to take this opportunity to ensure consumers get a clear and consistent message about when and why they are required to take financial advice about accessing their pensions.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.