£40,000 Boost for Heart of the South West Retirement Saving Trials

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a £40,000 funding boost in the Heart of the South West area to help people take stock of their health, skills and wealth as part of later life planning.

With the pandemic impacting people’s lives in different ways, many will already be reviewing their current situation – including those wanting a fuller working life, those able to put more into their savings after a period of working from home, or those looking to improve their resilience for the future.

At a time where many are worried about job security, the “mid-life MOTs” will enable people to identify the skills they will need for the job journey they want, helping them make more informed choices and build their future financial resilience. This initiative will help workers to plan for the future they want.

Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman said: “It’s no secret I am a huge fan of this idea and I’m excited to see the results of the Heart of the South West LEP trials.

“While we started work on this before the pandemic, the last twelve months have bought people’s financial resilience into sharp focus – making a mid-life MOT a timely exercise for many.

“And it’s not just about retirement savings but also about enabling people to enjoy a fuller working life by helping them understand the skills they will need to learn along the way.”

Karl Tucker, chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “We are pleased to have been selected as part of this trial and looking forward to delivering our Mid-Life MOT project in the Heart of the South West area, which aims to work with businesses, carers and those currently unemployed.

“The project will run a series of webinars, leading onto support sessions with the National Careers Service, Public Health England and the Money and Pensions Service. We will track and review each stage of the project and complete an impact assessment upon completion.”

The trials will help the DWP understand:

  • The actions individuals take as a result of undertaking the mid-life MOT;
  • The user needs among those most at risk of experiencing long term unemployment;
  • The effectiveness of using local delivery channels and how these can complement the Money and Pensions Service (MAPs), the National Careers Service (NCS) and Public Health England (PHE), in supporting individuals with later life planning.

The funding given to the Heart of the South West LEP is just one of ten to be given to LEPs across England. Each will receive up to £40,000 to develop, and implement, the mid-life MOT trials.