11 July 2023
Harriett Baldwin urges Government to help people get financial advice for retirement savings

Chair of the Treasury Committee Harriett Baldwin welcomes planned reforms to the pension market, but raises concerns that the current system of financial advice is not accessible to most people and asks how the Government plans to help people get the financial advice they need to make informed decisions about their retirement savings.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

I should probably note in this context that I am a trustee of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund.

I warmly welcome the work that the Economic Secretary and the pensions Minister have done in this important area, and strongly endorse what the Economic Secretary says about its meaning that future pensioners will be able to retire with higher pension incomes. However, he will know that I have put another piece of urgent work in his inbox, about helping the 93% of our constituents who are unable to afford access to financial advice and have to rely on bog-standard generic guidance. Can he update the House on how his review of the advice-guidance boundary is going and how he will help the majority of people who save in defined-contribution schemes to get access to some sort of personalised coaching or guidance?

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Andrew Griffith)

It is always a pleasure to respond to my hon. Friend and to the work of her tremendous Treasury Committee, which rages across this broad financial sector. She is right to raise the question of access to financial advice; I am afraid the world of financial services regulation is fraught with unintended consequences, and one unintended consequence of financial regulation and a growing compensation culture is to move financial advice beyond the financial ability of so many people who would benefit from receiving it. That is called the advice gap. I and my officials continue to work on that and I look forward to sharing proposals with the House and with my hon. Friend and her Committee in the autumn.