The Department for Work and Pensions has today announced a £40,000 funding boost in Worcestershire for schemes that help people take stock of their wealth and health as they get closer to retirement.
With the pandemic impacting people’s finances in different ways, many will already be reviewing their plans – from those able to put more into their savings after a period of working from home, to those looking to improve their resilience for the future.
The new funding will be given to the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop and trial locally-led ‘mid-life MOTs’; reviews for workers reaching midlife that help them assess their finances, with particular benefit to those at an increased risk of falling into pensioner poverty.
In addition, at a time where many are worried about job security, 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.
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 Worcestershire LEP’s 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.”
Worcestershire LEP, the Public Health England team within Worcestershire County Council and the National Careers Service team from Prospects are working together to produce an easy to access set of resources and tools for residents and employers hosted online. This will be supporting employers and individuals to understand their plans for the future and how to succession plan for the future of Worcestershire’s economic productivity.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire LEP said:
“Worcestershire LEP is delighted to have been successful in the Mid-Life MOT pilot bid. We are keen to support our residents and businesses to succession plan their employment and also be able to offer proactive solutions to help individuals to focus on their future health, finances and careers.”
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 Worcestershire 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.