Employees from 100 selected firms will start receiving pension information packs devised by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a pilot to test the impact of savings advice in the workplace.
The pack forms part of the DWP’s plans to use the workplace to encourage greater long-term savings, and the project includes free services from a select number of providers and IFAs.p>
The goal is to gauge whether employees truly do make changes to their personal financial arrangements when offered pensions information and advice through the workplace.
The pilot project will also test out the best ways employers can ensure staff have access to the vital pension information they need.
Secretary of state Andrew Smith says: "We want to make it easier for employers to support their employees in making retirement choices. Many employers, especially smaller employers, are unsure about what they can and cannot say when giving information on their workplace scheme.”
"This new Pensions Information Pack is designed to help them with this so that employees get the vital information they need on how best to plan for retirement," he adds .
Five pension providers and six IFAs will take part and offer their services free of charge to the 100 firms involved.
Legal & General, Norwich Union, Prudential, HSBC and Standard Life will visit the firms and give presentations as well as take part in information sessions.
The IFAs offering free financial advice are SBJ Benefits Consultants, Shields Financial Services, Simmonds Ford, Wise Speke Financial Services, WR Financial Management Ltd and Destini Fiona Price.
Financial secretary Ruth Kelly says: "Informed choice is an essential part of the government's strategy, reaffirming the essential partnership in pensions between employers, employees, providers and the government. It builds on the work we are doing to increase protection through the Pensions Bill and the simplification of the pensions tax system."
ABI head of pensions and savings Joanne Segars adds that employees are "nearly twice as likely to engage in long term saving if they receive help and information from their employer".
As well as offering information on occupational pensions, the pack also includes information on the state pension system, useful sources of pensions information, and a section answering common pensions questions.
The pilot is intended to run for approximately a year, with results published by August 2005.IFAonline
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