If you're thinking about getting financial advice, there are a number of important points to think about.
Get help and guidance
Deciding on the best retirement income option is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever have to make. To help you choose, there are a range of services offering advice and guidance to help you decide what's right for you.
Your options at a glance
A paid for service that informs you which specific product would best suit your needs. There are 2 kinds of advice:
|Typically free, guidance services provide information about the various retirement options available to help guide your decision. The key difference is that the information isn't based on your own personal circumstances, and they won't recommend a particular product option, or tell you what to do with your money.|
|Independent advice||Restricted advice||Government guidance (MoneyHelper)||Other guidance services|
|An Independent adviser must consider all possible product and provider options for you without any restrictions or bias.
||Any adviser that’s not classed as Independent is a Restricted adviser. Restricted advisers can recommend from a selected range of products and/or product providers:
A free impartial guidance service to help you understand what you can do with your defined contribution pension savings.
|Usually offer similar services to MoneyHelper but are delivered by a range of organisations such as the company you hold your pension with.
Your options in more detail
The sections below explain more about each option, and highlight some important points to think about before you decide.
Remember, it's always a good idea to use the free guidance services available. Even if you go on to get financial advice, you'll be better informed and have a clearer understanding of your own situation, and what you want the adviser to help with. But whatever you decide to do, you should carefully assess your own needs before you make your mind up.
Independent or restricted advice?
In the UK, financial advice is clearly defined into two categories – independent or restricted.
If you choose an independent adviser they'll consider all product options that meet your needs in the UK market. Restricted advice covers a wide range of advice services. Some restricted advisers may advise only on one company’s products, while others can make recommendations from a selected range of providers and/or product solutions. It’s designed to meet different customer needs, and you should carefully assess your own requirements before you make your mind up.
Whatever route you opt for, your adviser will explain up front which category their advice falls into and any advice restriction that exists. All advisers must meet the same standards of fairness and professionalism, and they must also ensure they have your best interests in mind.
Check the cost of advice and how you'll pay
The cost to review your retirement options will vary according to your circumstances and the adviser firm you choose. You should always shop around to ensure you get the right advice at a cost that suits your budget. Your adviser must explain up front how much their advice will cost, and how they charge. There are usually three options to pay:
Option 1: direct payment
Pay an agreed amount directly to your adviser. Typically, this would be in the form of a cheque or bank transfer.
- Pay a one-off amount for the advice.
- Pay an ongoing amount for regular advice.
Option 2: from any product/investment the adviser recommends
You can choose:
- A one-off payment for your advice.
- An ongoing amount for future advice.
- Or a combination of these.
Option 3: combination
You can choose a combination of these approaches and for example:
- Pay a one-off amount as a direct payment to your adviser.
- And any ongoing amount as a charge payable from your investment funds.
Make sure they have relevant experience
While many advisers offer comprehensive financial planning and can advise on all aspects of your financial needs, others specialise in a particular kind of advice, for example, investment advice, mortgage advice, insurance advice, retirement advice. You should make sure they have relevant experience and qualifications for what you need.
Find a retirement adviser
You can visit MoneyHelper to find a range of advisers near you.
Pension Wise, a service from MoneyHelper, is a free and impartial government service offering guidance about your retirement options. This service is available online at MoneyHelper, by phone on 0800 138 3944 or face to face by appointment. They'll help you make informed decisions by providing you with information and guidance, so you understand the options available. Unlike financial advice, they won't recommend a particular product, or course of action. Whatever you decide to do, you should carefully assess your own requirements before you make your mind up. We would always recommend getting independent financial advice to help you choose.
What do they offer?
Pension Wise is available to all aged 50 plus. They offer a single 45 minute conversation, either face to face or over the phone, as well as online information that will help you understand:
- Your personal financial circumstances better.
- The different retirement income options and their potential advantages, disadvantages and what this means for you.
- The tax implications of each option.
- What to think about when reviewing your retirement income options.
How to contact Pension Wise
Call - 0800 138 3944
Free expert guidance
If you don't have an adviser, and need guidance on ways to begin accessing your pension pots, or are looking to bring your pots together, our Aegon Assist team can help with this.
This service is free and allows you to make your own informed decisions, planning for the retirement you want. However we don’t provide advice, so if you're in any doubt, we recommend you seek financial advice, which you may need to pay for.
What can Aegon Assist offer?
- Free guidance on retirement planning.
- Help to understand the options available to you when you're looking to take retirement benefits from age 55.
- Clear information about Aegon products.