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Michelle Monck

Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 18/01/2021

At a glance

  • There are free sites that give information and guidance about pensions.
  • An independent financial adviser can provide you with specific and tailored pension advice.
  • Advice can help you to achieve the sort of lifestyle you want in retirement.

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.

Why is it important to get advice about your pension?

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.

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When should you get advice about your pension?

An independent financial adviser can help you at each of the key stages for planning your retirement income. This includes:

Saving enough for your retirement

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.

Planning your retirement income

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.

Using pension drawdown

Planning your use of pension drawdown with an adviser can help you make sure you do not drain your pension pot too quickly and leave yourself without income later in your retirement. Read more about how pension drawdown works.

Is pension advice mandatory or optional?

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.

Can you get free pension advice?

There are plenty of sources of information and guidance about pensions. Start with PensionWise.

Where to get information and guidance about pensions

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.

What to check when choosing a financial adviser

  • Check if they are an independent adviser and whole of market – this means they can choose from any investment or pensions provider.
  • Ask before you meet if the adviser is tied to a panel or a specific firm – if so, then their range of choices for investments and pensions will be limited.
  • Make sure the financial adviser is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – this means they operate to required rules and levels of conduct and can be held accountable if you need to complain about their advice in the future. This also includes being able to use the Financial Ombudsman if your complaint cannot be resolved directly.

Find a financial adviser near you

Find a qualified, independent and regulated financial adviser in your area to help you make the right decisions about your financial future. A free service, quickly connect to over 27,000 experts with the help of Unbiased.co.uk.

Note

All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

At a glance

  • There are free sites that give information and guidance about pensions.
  • An independent financial adviser can provide you with specific and tailored pension advice.
  • Advice can help you to achieve the sort of lifestyle you want in retirement.

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