Speaking at a Trades Union Congress (TUC) about workplace pensions, Altmann (pictured) said the public were not aware what advice meant when it came to dealing with their pension.

‘Many people don’t understand what advice means in a regulated sense,’ she said.

Altmann said the public needed greater clarity to understand what advice and guidance could offer.

‘People need more clarity on what is advice and what is guidance and what they can both do for you,’ she said.

Altmann was addressing the confusion that has risen since the introduction of government-backed guidance services to support pension freedom rules last April.

The government established Pension Wise to provide guidance to people who wished to access their pension before they turned 55.

The face to face guidance is provided by the charity Citizens Advice, and over the phone guidance is provided by The Pensions Advisory Service.

Meanwhile the separate Money Advice Service also offers financial information and guidance online.

All three services have the word ‘advice‘ in their titles and none of them provide regulated financial advice.

Altmann said she was concerned people did not understand the difference between these services and regulated advice.

‘We have the Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice Bureau, which don’t offer advice. But who actually understands that?’ she said.

She echoed concerns raised by the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs in a report published last October into guidance and advice following pension freedoms.

In the report the committee recommended the government and Financial Conduct Authority introduce a greater distinction between guidance and advice.

The Treasury’s response to the report confirmed it would look at making this distinction clear as part of the upcoming financial advice market review.