Pension Wise guidance

We strongly encourage members to consider seeking guidance from Pension Wise before accessing their pension savings

What is Pension Wise and who can use it?

Pension Wise is a service provided by Moneyhelper, offering free and impartial guidance to anyone aged 50 or over. Its purpose is to go through the options members have with their pension savings at retirement. You can find out more by visiting the Pension Wise website.

Pension Wise guidance

Considering which retirement option is right for you is an important decision. Pension Wise provides a free and impartial guidance service on the options available to you. Whenever you contact us about potentially taking your Smart Pension or transferring out to a drawdown product elsewhere, the government requires us to direct you to Pension Wise for guidance. When you contact us, you must tell us that you have either:

  • booked an appointment with Pension Wise

  • asked us to book your appointment with Pension Wise, or

  • decided to opt out of receiving the guidance

Until you do so, we will not be able to process your retirement claim or transfer out request.

When do I need to go to Pension Wise?

We are required to encourage you to use Pension Wise if you are applying to take your pension savings or transferring your Smart Pension account elsewhere and

  • you are over 50

  • you are at the protected retirement age

  • you are retiring before 50 due to ill health

What are my options?

You will need to confirm one of the following three options before we can proceed further with your retirement claim or transfer out request:

  • you have received free and impartial guidance from Pension Wise, along with the date of your appointment, or

  • you would like us to make the appointment for you, followed by you confirming that the appointment has taken place, or

  • you have decided to opt-out of Pension Wise guidance by providing us with a separate opt-out notification

More information about each of these options are set out below.

How do I make my own Pension Wise appointment?

You can make your own appointment through the Pension Wise website. Using the direct booking system is easy and straightforward, and you can do this at a time of your own choosing.

Alternatively, you can call Pension Wise on 0800 100 166.

In most circumstances, booking your own appointment will be quicker and more convenient, as you will be able to ensure you choose an appointment date and time that is most suitable for you.

How do I ask Smart Pension to book my appointment with Pension Wise?

Alternatively, you can ask us to make the appointment for you. If you would like us to do so, please give us a call on 0333 666 2626.

How do I opt out of Pension Wise guidance?

If you decide you want to opt out of receiving free and impartial guidance from Pension Wise, you will need to notify us separately of your decision. You can do so online.

Opting out will not be required if the following applies to you:

  • you have received regulated advice in relation to this claim within the last 12 months

  • you have already received guidance from Pension Wise within the past 12 months

  • you intend to access your benefit as a serious ill-health lump sum

How do I make you aware of my decision?

You can provide us with details of your Pension Wise guidance appointment by:

If you decide to opt out of receiving Pension Wise guidance:

Important

You will need to confirm whether you have decided to make an appointment for Pension Wise guidance. Smart Pension will not be able to proceed with your retirement application or transfer out request until:

  • you confirm you have had an appointment with Pension Wise, or

  • you have decided to opt out of receiving guidance by providing us with a separate opt-out notification