- 49% year-on-year increase in customers arranging appointments
- 95% of appointment customers and 87% of digital customers say they would recommend the service to others
- More than twofold increase in Pension Wise transactions since the service began
Rising numbers of people accessed guidance offered by Pension Wise in 2018/19, with a 49% increase in customers arranging appointments face to face and over the phone, and customers showing greater confidence in making pensions decisions after using the service.
Run by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), Pension Wise is a free service that helps people understand their options for their pension pot.1 According to new figures from MaPS, in 2018/19 the service provided 167,000 interactions overall. This includes 130,000 face-to-face or telephone appointments arranged, compared with 87,000 in 17/18 - a 49% increase year on year 2.
In the last two years, Pension Wise has extended its reach to more customers through a new digital self-service offering, which was completed by 37,000 people in 18/193.
Pension Wise has expanded rapidly during its first four years increasing over two and a half times from 60,000 transactions in 2015/16 to over 167,000 in 18/194.
Service evaluation data for 18/195 shows that 95% of appointment customers are likely to recommend the service to others or have already done so and 93% were satisfied with the service - both consistent with the levels recorded in previous years6.
The The 18/19 figures show that Pension Wise appointments have lasting effects – appointment customers feel more informed, are more knowledgeable and take more positive steps towards accessing their pension pots than a similar group of people who haven’t used the service. In the three-month period following their interaction with the service:
- Nine in ten appointment customers (95%) feel very or fairly well informed of their pension options compared to 57% of non-users
- Six in ten (60%) appointment customers calculate the income needed in retirement, versus 36% of non-users
- 34% of appointment customers speak to a financial advisor versus 26% of non-users
- 95% of appointment customers also said they are very or fairly confident they are able to avoid any pension scams, compared with 83% of non-users.
- Nine in ten of the appointment customers who spoke to their pension providers (93%) felt they were well prepared for their discussion with providers about their pension options. They were more likely to feel prepared than the non-users who had spoken to their providers (77%).
Customers who decided to access their pension savings after their experience with Pension Wise in 18/19 are more likely to take steps to inform themselves prior to making arrangements:
- 86% of appointment customers checked how much tax they would pay based on their chosen options (versus 73% of non-users)
- 36% of appointment customers shopped around for quotes from other pension providers (versus 19% of non-users)
- 70% of appointment customers looked into any charges they might incur based on their chosen options (compared with 46% of non-users)
Digital customers are also more likely than non-users to take steps to inform themselves prior to making arrangements:
- 87% of digital customers checked how much tax they would pay based on their chosen options (versus 73% of non-users)
- 32% of digital customers shopped around for quotes from other pension providers (versus 19% of non-users)
- 74% of digital customers looked into any charges they might incur based on their chosen options (versus 46% of non-users)
The evaluation shows that appointment customers are most likely to hear about Pension Wise through their pension provider (56%). Trials are also underway to assess the best way to persuade people to take guidance from Pension Wise before accessing pension savings.
Carolyn Jones, Head of Pensions Policy and Strategy at the Money and Pensions Service said:
“For many people, their pension is one of the biggest assets they’ll ever have, and the decisions they make about accessing their savings will impact how they live the rest of their lives. It is crucial people make the right decisions for their circumstances, so it’s great to see so many customers feeling empowered by our Pension Wise service. We are committed to increasing the usage of Pension Wise and continuing to improve the service for customers.”
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Notes to editors:
- Pension Wise became part of the Money and Pensions Service in January 2019, which also incorporates the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service. Prior to January 2019, Pension Wise was administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.
- In 18/19 there were 90,000 face to face appointments, and 40,000 telephone appointments arranged = 130,000. In 2017/18 there were 63,000 face to face appointments and 24,000 phone appointments arranged = 87,000 . The 2017/18 evaluation is available here:
- The self-serve offering includes customers accessing a summary description of the six pensions choices on the Pension Wise website, and the option to read further guidance about those of most interest to them. They are treated as a separate group to appointment customers in the reporting for 18/19 evaluation to enable comparisons with previous reports for the appointment service.
- Pension Wise Transactions by year of operation
|Year||Number of interactions|
*includes digital self-serving offering
5. The 2018/19 Pension Wise Service Evaluation survey was undertaken by Ipsos MORI and is based on 1763 interviews with people booking appointments between September and November 2018, 703 with customers completing the digital self-service guidance between August and February 2019 and a comparison survey among 760 non-users with similar demographic and pension access proximity characteristics.
Full methodological details for the survey are given in the report.
6. In 2016/17 96% of appointment customers said they have already recommended the service to others or are likely to, compared with 95% in 2017/18. Satisfaction among this group was at 94% in 2016/17 and 92% in 2017/18.
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) vision is: ‘everyone making the most of their money and pensions.’
MaPs is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and it has a joint commitment to provide access to the information and guidance people across the UK need, to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. The organisation also engages with HM Treasury on policy matters relating to financial capability and debt advice.
MaPS brings together the free services previously delivered by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. MaPS offers customers guidance and appointments over the telephone, online and in person.
For further information visit the Money and Pensions Service website www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk
Consumers can access free guidance about their money and pensions via the following websites and help lines: