A major review to improve consumers' access to financial advice has been announced by the Government.

The 'Financial Advice Market Review' will examine the "advice gap" for people who do not have significant wealth and ensure that firms are being encouraged to innovate and grow their businesses to include affordable and accessible financial advice.

It will also look at what barriers may be in place that currently put people off seeking financial advice, and ensure it meets the Government's long-term plan to support those in work at every stage of their lives.

See MoneySavingExpert.com's Financial Advisers guide for help picking and paying for an IFA.

Led by the Treasury and regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, the review will consider all types of retail financial products including pensions, savings, mortgages and insurance.

A consultation document is expected by autumn 2015 and proposals are due to be reported ahead of the Budget 2016.

The Government also intends to consult later in the year on how current arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance, including the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise, can be made more effective.

Martin Lewis
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'Review to explore what more can be done'

Launching the review, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin, says: "Making sure that our financial services sector supports working people at every stage of their lives is a key part of our long term plan.

"That's why we've launched a major new review to explore what more can be done to make sure consumers can access high quality and affordable advice so they can make informed decisions with their hard-earned money."

The Financial Advice Market Review builds on the Government's pension reforms which have given people a much wider range of choices over what they do with their savings pots when they come to retire.

Launched in April, the pension reforms mean that people aged 55 and over are no longer required to buy a retirement income called an annuity with their pension pot.