Meet Michael

He reviewed his pension without paying a fee upfront

Portafina client Michael avoided financial difficulty by accessing part of his tax-free cash allowance despite not having the money available to pay for advice upfront.

  • No upfront fee
  • Straightforward explanations
  • Sensible advice

The challenge:

Michael wanted to access tax-free cash but wasn’t sure how to do this, or if his current scheme would allow it. And crucially, he wasn’t in a position to pay for financial advice upfront. Michael turned to Portafina for help.

The outcome:

Having transferred his pension, Michael released part of his tax-free cash which massively helped to improve his way of life. He knows exactly what he has left in his pot and what he can do with it in the future.

The full story: Michael, Glasgow

No upfront free

Michael came to Portafina because he needed to reassess his financial situation. “I’d gone through a period of ill health and I’d had to terminate my job. I needed something to provide me with a bit of security to bridge the gap between leaving my job and my entitlements kicking in.”

He was aware of the pension freedoms but was not entirely sure what his current final salary pension entitled him to. “My pension company were quite obstructive. I knew I could access my pension to get lump sums out of it but they were unhelpful, so I thought right, I’ll get a firm to do it for me who knows the ins and outs.”

For Michael, using Portafina meant he could find out exactly what he could do with his pension and get specialist advice without having to pay a fee. “Could I have paid for the advice upfront? No. I guess I would have just had to borrow or continue with living on a very limited income.”

Portafina says:

Many financial advisers charge a fee upfront to check your pension for you; at Portafina we do things differently. So, depending on what you decide to do, you could end up walking away fully informed with nothing to pay.

Straightforward explanations

We used our knowledge as pension advice specialists to understand Michael’s goals and carried out a pension review. He was then clearly presented with the options available, so he was able to make an informed decision that was right for him. Our review included how much it would cost Michael if, having read his report, he asked us to act on his behalf. “Everything was so straightforward with Portafina. There was a lot of good, clear explanations in all the paperwork. I just found Portafina very approachable and all their communications very understandable.”

Presented with all of the facts, Michael decided to take some of his pension money. Portafina then did all the hard work. We liaised with Michael’s existing pension company, arranged the transfer of his scheme and for the tax-free cash to be released.

Portafina says:

In most cases the money for our fee would be taken directly from your pension so you would not have to find it elsewhere – and of course we factor the impact of this into our recommendation for you.

Sensible advice

The great thing about undertaking a pension review for Michael was discovering he didn’t need to take all of his tax-free cash. “Portafina’s advice was sensible. I did not need to cash in the full 25%, just what I needed to make life more comfortable again.” The remainder of Michael’s pension is now invested based on his specific circumstances, attitudes, and future plans. And we will manage Michael’s pension on an on-going basis, ensuring it is tailored to his needs every step of the way.

Find out how our service works, what you get and what it costs.

Important note:
Taking money early from your pension might not be right for you, as it could leave you with less to live on than you need; it shouldn’t be seen as an easy way to raise money. That’s why it makes sense to get financial advice before making any big decisions.

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