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Call for Government to invest in guidance

The Queen's Speech failed to reveal how the UK Government's promised "free guidance" for retirees from next April will be delivered or paid for.

The Low Incomes Tax reform Group said the Government was offering to invest £20 million invested in a guidance service over the next two years to help older people with defined contribution pension pots make the right decisions.

It said: "About 320,000 people retire each year with such savings, which works out at about £30 for each person over the two-year period. This is clearly inadequate, given that the market rate per hour for professional pensions advice usually exceeds £150. This also begs the question of what happens after the two years are up. The Government needs to acknowledge these points and consider a sustainable investment in information services, or risk exploitation of people's hard-earned savings by market sharks."

The Association of British Insurers said any industry-funded guidance service would inevitably be "shallow". Standard Life said the £150 tax-deductible employer's allowance for workplace financial advice should be raised to £250.

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