There are lots of sites and services that can provide information and guidance about your pension. If you need tailored or specific advice about your pension or situation, then you will need to speak with an independent financial adviser. They may offer a free initial consultation depending on the size of your pension, but after this there will be fees for the adviser’s services.
Your pension is likely to be the largest savings pot you have in your lifetime and it will need to last your entire retirement unless you have other ways to fund your life after you stop working.
They can provide guidance about how much you need to save each month and your investment choices to help maximise your pension pot, for example by using a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). They can also help you to plan your retirement income, including the tax implications of any choices, if you want to use pension drawdown and/or if you want to buy an annuity.
Pensions (and pension planning) is a complicated subject and a good financial adviser can help you to navigate your choices and use their experience and expertise to your benefit. There are also free sites and services that can help you build your understanding about pensions. However, when you use these you do not have the benefit of being supported by an adviser or the right to complain should you be unhappy with the information received.
An independent financial adviser can help you at each of the key stages for planning your retirement income. This includes:
This includes identifying how much you need to save each month across all your investments, such as ISAs, your pension and other investments. There are also online tools that can help you to identify how much you need to save each month.
Deciding how to release the income you have saved over decades is a complex decision. There can be tax implications based on the choices you make, and an adviser can make sure your income is released in a tax-efficient way. In addition, you may also want advice about whether to choose a regular income through an annuity, to use pension drawdown or if you should empty your ISAs first.
Speaking with a financial adviser can help to make sure you achieve the style of retirement you are aiming for.
Pension advice is only required if you are looking to transfer out of a defined benefit pension scheme (also called final salary scheme) that has a transfer value of more than £30,000. Transferring out of a defined pension scheme carries significant risks and the Government introduced this requirement to help protect pension savers. If you receive the recommendation to transfer your defined benefit pension scheme from an independent financial adviser and this proves to be a bad decision, you will have the option to complain and potentially claim compensation.
Read more about how pension transfers work.
There are plenty of sources of information and guidance about pensions. Start with PensionWise.
Here are the independent and Government-based services providing guidance and information about pensions.
In addition, you can also get pensions information from the Pensions Regulator.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.