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 advice and guidance services available. This page explains what they are, and gives you a few useful pointers 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 (Pension Wise)||Other guidance services|
|An Independent adviser must consider all possible product and provider options for you, and do so free from 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 Pension Wise 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. But restricted advice needn’t be an inferior option. It’s simply 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. Both types of adviser will have to 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, but the typical cost for a one-off task, such as turning a £100,000 pension pot into an annuity, is around £1,800 (Which? Financial advice investigation Feb 2014). 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 hybrid 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
If you don’t have an adviser, you can use our adviser search tool. Simply enter your postcode to find a retirement planning specialist in your area.
Although Aegon is a listed provider with the advice firms on our adviser search tool, we’re not responsible for any advice they provide. We don’t receive any financial incentive for referrals.
Alternatively, you can use the Money Advice Service's retirement adviser directory or unbiased.co.uk to find a wider range of advisers near you.
Pension Wise is a free and impartial government service that helps you understand what you can do with your pension savings. 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
Visit - pensionwise.gov.uk
Free expert guidance
Following pension freedoms, there's greater choice than ever before in how you access and take your retirement benefits.
This amount of choice though, can seem daunting, so where do you start? That's where our team of trained specialists, who have years of experience in retirement planning, can help.
Our Aegon Assist Associates are based in the UK and can guide you through your options using plain English. They’ll also enable you to take advantage of the flexibility and choice available to you through the products we offer.
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.
We also suggest you visit Pension Wise, a free, impartial service from the Government for more information or shop around and consider other providers to get the best outcome for your retirement.
What can Aegon Assist offer?
- Help to understand the options available to you when saving for retirement.
- Discuss your options and the flexibility and help you take your retirement benefits, from age 55.
- General guidance to help you make your own decisions and our expertise in Aegon products. We don’t cover all of the market and any products we discuss will be restricted to those offered by Aegon and our affiliated products.
Tracing lost pensions
As well as understating your choices at retirement, you may want to make it easier to keep track of your retirement savings.
Bringing together your existing pension pots could allow you to see everything in one place, reduce your paperwork and could save you money as you may currently be paying multiple fees and charges.
We can help you trace any pensions you may have with previous employers, however you should be aware that transferring might not always be the best thing for you. You should compare the benefits from your current pension with the estimated benefits of your new pension, including any guarantees and penalties. If you're unsure whether this is right for you or need advice, please speak to a financial adviser.