George Osborne
George Osborne proposed a series of reforms to the UK's pensions industry in the 2014 Budget Reuters

The UK needs a 'National Wealth Service' to ensure the government's retirement revolution is a success, according to a leading pensions expert.

Dr Ros Altmann, a former government advisor writing in a report sponsored by insurer MetLife, also called for "fundamental changes" in pension advice and saving in the UK.

The comments come as Altmann's research revealed that more than four in ten (41%) of working adults admit they do not understand retirement saving following the proposals put forward by Chancellor George Osborne in the 2014 Budget.

However, almost a quarter (24%) of working adults – equivalent to 7.3 million people – said they plan to start or increase pension contributions after the Budget changes.

The findings follow the government's plans to scrap compulsory annuities for pension savers and, among other things, abolishing rules which will enable retirees to take more of their savings as cash.

"These regulatory changes could have a dramatic impact on the advice industry and provide greater protection for customers who would otherwise not have access to the first-class service of an adviser," Altmann warned.

Altmann has called for the launch of a National Retirement Guidance Network from April 2015, which will focus on those about to retire and then expanding into a wider National Wealth Service.

Altmann claimed the new body could be integrated into workplace pension auto-enrolment providing regular "financial wealth-checks" for all savers.

"To make the new freedoms work for individuals, a revolution in the provision of financial education, information and advice is required," she said. "There is a massive opportunity to be grasped by financial advisers and the industry."

The Department for Work and Pensions had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

HM Treasury had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.