Purdah rules silence pension freedoms

The government is being restricted in its ability to advertise the biggest pension changes for decades by the purdah rules that prohibit state funds being used to run campaigns.

The purdah rules, which took effect from 30th March, and which run up to the general election on May 7th, mean it must remain silent on the pension freedom and choice changes that take effect from 6 April. Signposting towards Pension Wise will be allowed.

Guidance published by the Cabinet Office yesterday says ‘new advertising campaigns will in general be postponed and running campaigns closed’.

A Treasury spokesperson says: “Government will ensure, working with partners, that all the necessary signposts are in place during the purdah period to direct people to the Pension Wise service and protect consumers from scams.
“The website won’t be closed down during purdah.”

Now: Pensions CEO Morten Nilsson says: “For the government to find itself mute during such a critical phase in the roll out of these reforms would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Government, regulators and providers all need to do as much as they can to raise awareness of these changes to make sure savers are being offered the right support to take advantage of their options.”