Townsfolk urged to seek pensions advice

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall are encouraging constituents to take advantage of free government pensions advice.

The pair met this week with Citizens Advice Bureau’s Borders Pension Wise Guidance specialist Ian Herd who told the Hawick and Denholm members about the changes made by the government in April regarding the way in which people can access their pensions.

Explaining the scheme, Mr Herd described how HM Treasury has developed the Pension Wise service to provide expert guidance to enable people to understand their pension options and to allow them to decide the best course of action to take.

Delivering this service is the responsibility of the Citizens Advice Bureau and although a national campaign is about to be launched, Hawick’s Citizens Advice team is already actively seeking to raise awareness and has invited local councillors to hear what is on offer.

Speaking this week, Mr McAteer, who is encouraging anyone with concerns about their pension to meet with Mr Herd, told the Hawick News: “‘Ian explained how important it is for anyone at, or approaching, pension age and who may have any pension concerns to contact him at the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“He will be able to provide specialist advice designed to help people decide what to do with their pension pot, deal with associated tax and fee issues and, very importantly, how to avoid pension scams.”

Councillor Stuart Marshall is also keen to see constituents take advantage of the free service.

He commented: “It was great to meet Ian and while most will be aware of the new pension procedures, the detail can appear complex and that is where he can help.

“I would encourage anyone with concerns about their defined contribution pension to get in touch with Ian at the Citizens Advice Bureau.”

For more information, contact Mr Herd at the Citizens Advice Bureau on 374266.