Steve Webb would be "nervous" about providers playing a part in the Chancellor's guidance at retirement pledge.
Speaking at the Baker Tilly pensions conference today, he said the mechanics of how guidance would be delivered were still under consultation but "instinctively I would be very nervous about providers providing guidance".
The minister added the consultation process would establish if the system could be provided through existing organisations such as The Pensions Advisory Service or the Money Advice Service or by something completely separate.
While the Chancellor used the word ‘advice' in his Budget speech the term guidance is more appropriate, Webb added.
"Guidance is absolutely the right word," he said. Adding it was easy for people in the industry to "forget how little people know about this stuff".
He said the face-to-face pledge of guidance for all should be a very basic conversation, including explaining pensions language and the options available to retirees. "It is giving people the basics and getting people talking."
For certain people this could be delivered over the phone or in groups.
Webb said this would then push people who need more than basic help towards regulated financial advice.
"It is clearly distinguishable from full financial advice," he told delegates.
Earlier this week, the Association of British Insurers director general Otto Thorensen told MPs that insurers could deliver the government's guidance promise (PP Online, 8 April).
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released its first batch of guidance setting out how the guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) conversion legislation may be used to resolve unequal payments.
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