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New guidance body gets the WhatsApp treatment

Investors can now get free money and pension guidance via instant messaging service WhatsApp

New guidance body gets the WhatsApp treatment

It may have started out as the domain for gossiping teenagers, but soon members of the public will be able to get guidance on their pensions via instant messaging service WhatsApp.

The scheme was announced yesterday by the newly formed Money and Pensions Service (Maps), inviting guidance-seekers to simply ‘add us to your contacts and send a message’.

The WhatsApp service is designed to help improve access to free financial help for the public, with Maps aiming to answer a query within minutes.

Backed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Maps was launched on 8 April by merging three guidance providers, the Money Advice Service, the Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise, into one body.

Yesterday the Financial Conduct Authority announced advisers will need to contribute £4.3 million towards the guidance body in the 2019/20 financial year as part of the industry levy.

The DWP said the new guidance service would be able to arrange 205,000 ‘pension freedoms guidance sessions’. 

In a statement a spokesman for Maps told New Model Adviser®: 'We want to make sure that people are able to access money and pensions guidance in a way that works for them, which is why we are currently piloting our service on WhatsApp.

‘We want to understand whether WhatsApp would allow us to engage with more people to help improve their access to money and pensions guidance. Agents will respond to WhatsApp messages during the same hours as the main webchat service, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Agents have pledged to respond to enquiries as soon as they are received.


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