Regulator dismisses appeal for charitable status from pensions helpline

The Annuity Helpline had asked for a decision review after the Charity Commission rejected its initial application last month

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has rejected an appeal for charitable status from an organisation set up to provide a 24-hour helpline to help people approaching retirement to understand their finances.

The regulator rejected the initial application from the Annuity Helpline in July, on the basis that it was not satisfied that it was charitable. The helpline appealed against the initial rejection and in a decision review published yesterday, the regulator said this had also been turned down.

The review said the organisation’s objectives included educating the public about the various options for retirement income, and helping people better understand their current benefits and options.

The organisation intended to establish a 24-hour Freephone helpline that people could call for advice and information, the review said: "The commission considered whether the purpose of the organisation was to advance education for the public benefit.

"It was unable to establish that the organisation provided education in the charitable sense, which develops the skills and competencies of the recipients.

"It was also difficult to see how the services provided by the organisation were for public benefit rather than the personal benefit of individuals by facilitating improvement to their personal financial circumstances."

The decision said the regulator had concluded that the objectives of the organisation allowed scope for non-charitable purposes to be furthered and was not exclusively charitable.

Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from the Annuity Helpline for comment on Wednesday morning.

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