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
Guidance is available from a range of different other sources such as the company you hold your pension with. Similar to Pension Wise, these services typically offer impartial guidance to help 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.
Aegon Assist is our free guidance service.
It's a friendly, UK-based team of trained specialists who can help guide you through the decision making process, allowing you to make your own choices about your retirement savings. We don’t offer advice – you need to contact a financial adviser for that.
As you get closer to retirement age, there are a few things you’ll need to think about, as well as some choices you’ll have to make. As a first step, you could visit the Government's free Pension Wise service. Then when you’ve had a look and are ready to discuss, that’s where Aegon Assist can help you.
What Aegon Assist do
- We’ll help you understand the options available to you when saving for retirement so you can make informed choices.
- We can talk you through the recent changes which open up your options for retirement when you reach age 55.
The pension rules give you significant flexibility about what to do with your pension pot. Our team can help you decipher the complexities of the Pension Freedom options and help you plan for the retirement you want.
What Aegon Assist don't do
We don’t give financial advice - we'll give you information and guidance to help you make informed decisions.
Aegon Assist Associates
Our friendly, specialist Aegon Assist Associates team can help guide you through the decision making process. They really know their stuff, and with years of experience under their belt, they'll help you make your own choice about managing your retirement savings.
So whether you want to check your understanding of your options for saving for retirement or talk about changes to your retirement goals, we can help.
For example, if you wanted to merge your pension pots (known as ‘consolidation’) we’d talk you through the benefits and risks, things to consider and explain any jargon to help you get everything sorted out.