Stephen Timms, chairman of the Work and Pensions committee, has submitted an amendment to the Pension Schemes Bill which would see savers near retirement contacted each year until a guidance appointment has been made.
In the amendment, Mr Timms says members should be contacted five years before retirement age with a scheduled date and time for a pensions guidance appointment, or the option to reschedule or defer this appointment.
The saver would then be contacted every year until guidance has been taken or the individual has confirmed that they would rather opt out.
Mr Timms said: “If members […] of pension schemes have not used pensions guidance by the time they become eligible to access their pension, they will be directed to pensions guidance by the regulations from the Financial Guidance & Claims Act upon requesting access to their benefits.”
Stephen Lowe, director at Just Group, has shown support for this amendment, saying it is important people get guidance before reaching retirement age rather than at the exact time they are allowed to access their pot.
He said: “We need a far more ambitious approach if we are to achieve the DWP’s goal of making guidance a natural part of the journey to accessing pension benefits.”
The DWP is expected to publish regulations which will require trustees and managers of occupational schemes to present taking pension guidance as a “natural” part of the process when looking to access or transfer a pension. But it stopped short of making guidance mandatory.
As well as encouraging people to use the service, the DWP said these proposals would help protect savers from scams as they will be able to make more informed decisions.
Research from Just earlier this month revealed confusion as to what constitutes advice means many pension savers think they have received regulated advice when in fact they have only received guidance.
The provider polled 1,000 people over the age of 55 in August and found of those who said they had received “advice” before accessing their pension, fewer than half (49 per cent) said they had seen a regulated financial adviser.
The Pension Schemes Bill will enter committee stage at the House of Commons on November 3.