ROBERTSONS & CRAWFORD LTD
Independent Financial Advisers
Pension Advice - Making sense of all the Jargon
Pensions advice, whether it be consolidating your pensions into one place, managing the underlying investment portfolios, projecting the potential income at retirement, or just assessing whether your investments are working for you in a cost efficient manner, can be a daunting exercise.
Many of us have accumulated a number of pension plans over our lifetimes, some, final salary or defined benefit schemes, some personal pensions and some occupational pensions. As we near retirement, we start to think about what they are all worth and what they will provide us through retirement so we start to make enquiries of the pension providers and this can be a confusing process.
First of all, unlike days of old, pension providers no longer provide ‘advice’. They can tell you what your plan is worth and other details pertaining to it but they cannot advise you whether it meets your needs, whether it is invested in well managed funds or how risky the portfolio may be in relation to your personal situation. Worse still, they will send you reams of paperwork so full of jargon that you struggle to make head or tail of what they have sent you!
This is where a Professional, Independent Financial Adviser can help.
We will assess your pension plans, and provide you with an easy to understand report showing you the level of risk you are currently exposed to, the fees and charges levied against your plans, the historic growth of your funds and provide you with recommendations if we feel you can improve the cost effectiveness of the overall investments, if the underlying investments match your personal ‘risk profile’, or if it would be beneficial to consolidate the plans into one place.
From here you have the information you need (in an understandable format) to make decisions as to how best to make adjustments to your plans if need be.
If you have certain income goals we can show you whether you are on track to meet these, if you have concerns about taxation, we can show you the most tax efficient way to manage your pensions, during the accumulation stage as well as through retirement.
And when you are approaching retirement we will provide you with a full list of the options available to you from purchasing an annuity, flexible draw-down or how a combination of the available options could suit your particular circumstance. We will guide you as to how to achieve the best possible outcomes of your pension funds in a cost efficient, tax efficient manner and to make sure your pension income will last for the rest of your life.
Fees & Charges:
There are generally three sets of fees involved in all pension plans –
1. The pension provider’s fees;
2. The Annual Fund Manager’s fees; and
3. The adviser fees
Some of your plans will include all these fees even if you are not currently receiving advice so it makes sense to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
In addition to the fees and charges listed above, there may be penalties for cancelling or transferring your plan, there may be terminal bonuses, protected tax free cash amounts, Guaranteed Minimum Pension amounts, Market value reductions, policy fees and other charges. All these need to be taken into account when deciding whether the plan is working for you or not.
Some plans are very complex and some are very simple, some fund values are very large and some relatively small so it is important to make sure you have the best possible structure to meet your personal needs – no two people are the same and no investment solution is right for everyone, we are all unique and as such need bespoke advice to achieve the most relevant returns.
This is what we offer.