Merger of financial advice services ‘a great opportunity’, say tax experts

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) said the merger of three money advice services is a great opportunity for the new unified service to better help those on low incomes.

The Pension Advisory Service, Pension Wise and Money Advice Service will merge into a single UK-wide body, as announced in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman, said:

“We welcome the unification of the currently fragmented pensions and money advice services and their replacement with a single financial advice agency across the UK. It is a great opportunity to create a service that better helps those on low incomes, particularly advice on pensions.

“Advice on money matters has previously been delivered in penny packets by bodies specialising in discrete areas, sometimes not well integrated with other areas which can affect financial decisions.  In particular the interaction with tax and benefits can have major and long-term effects, often unforeseen at the time of the decision, and those without professional representation can be hard-pressed to find the necessary information and knit it together to find the best course to take. After all, decisions about pensions are taken at a time when a person may yet have 20 or 30 years of non-working life to plan for.

“The new unified body must appreciate that the unrepresented often have more difficulty in accessing websites or recording telephone information, so the provision of face-to-face contact will be an essential element of their proposed service, as will its ability to connect the client seamlessly with appropriate specialist agencies.”


Notes for editors

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

The LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. The CIOT’s 17,600 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.