The DWP, or the Department for Work and Pensions, as it is formally known, helps millions of people each year with state pension and other forms of financial support. However, while the state pension sum can be a lifeline for retired people, many organisations have stressed the importance of preparing for retirement oneself. To this end, the DWP is to trial a new retirement savings idea which is likely to help hundreds of thousands of people.
The funding boost of £400,000 will go towards schemes helping people to take stock of a number of aspects of their lives.
These will include health, skills and wealth which all form a part of planning towards later life, particularly retirement.
With the impacts of the pandemic being palpably felt over the last year, many have stopped to take stock of their current situation.
While finances are evidently a major preoccupation, the issue of health has really been driven home, and a work/life balance is also high on the list of priorities for many.
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Unfortunately the fallout from COVID-19 is not yet over, and there still remains some uncertainty when it comes to issues such as job security.
However, it is hoped the retirement savings trials will serve as a form of “mid-life MOT” to help people reevaluate the skills they need for work.
The funding is intended to provide support to Britons who need to make more informed choices and build their financial resilience in the long-term.
The £400,000 boost will be shared between ten different organisations the DWP has specifically identified.
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These are known as local enterprise partnerships or LEPs and have been selected in locations across England.
Grants of up to £40,000 will be secured by the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Heart of the South West, Humber, North East, New Anglia, Worcestershire, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Cambridge and Peterborough, Dorset and Greater Manchester.
These groups will then trial the locally-led MOTs to help workers to plan for the future they desire.
Guy Opperman, the Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion commented on the matter further.
This will include the actions individuals go on to take as a result of undertaking the mid-life MOT, as well as the needs of those who are most at risk of long-term unemployment.
Finally, it is hoped further understanding will be garnered with regards to the use of more local delivery channels.
These could go on to complement perhaps more familiar services such as the Money and Pension Service, Public Health England and the National Careers Service.
At large, the intention is for individuals to gain the highest amount of support possible when it comes to later life planning.
At present the state pension age stands at 66, and with life expectancy rising, Britons are likely to spend more of their adult lives in retirement than ever before.
However, individuals are also encouraged to bear in mind the state pension age is subject to change and uprating for this very reason.
As a result, planning ahead for retirement in terms of finances and key life goals is likely to be of the utmost importance.