If you’ve read any of Boring Money’s back catalogue of tips and advice, you’ll no doubt have come across links to all sorts of excellent resources from the Money Advice Service. So you might be slightly surprised to hear it soon will be no more…
Panic not, though! It’s being replaced by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), which officially launched yesterday.
The new body, which merges the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise into a single organisation, has been tasked by Parliament to create:
a society where everybody makes the most of their money and pensions
Great political speak. But what does it really mean?
Well, the service was created to be a single resource for education and guidance around money. Offering information and support via its website, phones and face-to-face meetings, a major objective is to help more people who are vulnerable and need advice around ‘money problems’.
However, Sir Hector Sants, the Chair of the new service, stressed that pushing the importance of financial wellbeing and helping people with guidance that can stave off financial crises is also a major goal for the new body.
Historically, shame and a lack of access to help have been key problems. According to John Govett, Chief Executive of MaPS, 8.3 million people in the UK are over-indebted, 11.5 million have less than £100 in savings to fall back on, while 22 million working-age people say they don’t know enough about retirement planning.
Tackling the problems face-on
To make a dent in the problems listed by Govett, the Money and Pensions Service will be offering tons of free, personal ‘customer guidance sessions’ every year – in person or over the phone – including:
- 290,000 pensions guidance sessions
- 205,000 pensions freedoms sessions
- 560,000 debt management sessions
- 170,000 money guidance sessions
So it’s not just reading material. You’ll be able to get real, personal help and learn in the ways that suit you best.
It's time to put money where our mouths are
One of the main hopes of the service is to help destigmatise talking about money – in the same way discussing mental health has become an accepted norm. And to ensure people have the necessary support to empower themselves when it comes to their finances.
The service will be running a Talk Money Talk Pensions Week initiative in November. Look out for more information later this year! We’ll also link up to the best tools on offer from MaPS as they emerge.