When seeking financial advice, it is important to understand the fees that will be charged before you go ahead to make sure you are getting good value for your money.
Many things can affect the cost of pension advice such as the type of pension scheme you have, the size of your pension pot, what you are looking to do with your pension and how your adviser calculates their fee.
The average cost of pension advice in the UK at retirement is around £3,0001. Typically, this money comes straight out of your pension so there is no extra money for you to find. It’s a good idea to get pension advice throughout your life and not just at retirement because the longer your pension is running with improved performance, the larger your pot when you come to retire.
Why should I use a financial adviser?
Statistics show that people who take pension advice gain, on average, £30,991 more pension wealth2. This is because a financial adviser can improve the performance of your pension, leaving you with more money at retirement.
With a regulated financial adviser by your side, you will also have the security and peace of mind of knowing that your finances are in safe hands. And with your future security being their top priority, you know that any advice you receive is in your best interest.
If you were to go straight to your pension provider or use a non-advised service to transfer your pension or release funds for example, you would not receive any support to make sure you are doing the right thing for you.
What am I paying for when I get financial advice?
A regulated financial adviser can:
- Check your pension and let you know your current pension value
- Search the market for a better pension deal with lower charges
- Improve the performance of your pension further by managing your investments to aim for a higher return rate
- Assess your current and future finances to let you know what options are best for you
- Help you release funds in the right way to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes of doing it alone
Typically, a financial adviser will charge a one-off fee for their initial advice and any actions you ask them to take for you, such as transferring your pension to a better scheme. There will also be an ongoing management fee. This fee will cover the ongoing work your financial adviser is doing to make sure that your pension is always working as it should be and your investments always fit the level of risk you are willing to take.
Can I get free financial advice?
A lot of financial advisers will offer the first consultation for free to allow you to decide if they are a good fit for you before you commit to anything. The downside is that once you have started the process, you are committed to paying even if their advice is to do nothing.
Here at Portafina we do things a little different and will complete the initial investigation into your pension for free. In many cases, we can continue to provide full advice with no obligation should you need it.
This means you can be fully informed about the current position of your pension, how to improve its performance and what options are best for you, all with nothing to pay. It is only if you decide to follow our advice and ask us to take care of everything for you that a fee will be due. And this will be fully explained to you before you make your decision.
If you have a defined benefit scheme, then in some cases you may not qualify for full advice with no obligation. The adviser will let you know any fees that may be due before you start the process, so you still have the choice to walk away with nothing to pay.
How is the price of financial advice calculated?
There are a number of different things that influence the cost of receiving financial advice. These include:
The value of your pension
It is very common for advisers to calculate their fee as a percentage of the amount to be invested, or the value of your pension. This is because by using a financial adviser you are seeking protection for your savings. And the larger your pot, the more the potential liability is for the adviser.
The type of pension you have
Some pensions are more complex than others and take more time for an adviser to analyse and investigate. Therefore, to provide the best possible advice they will need to spend longer checking your pension.
How the service is delivered
When you think financial adviser you are likely to think of personal home and office visits. A service delivered in this way can result in higher costs. More recently, companies such as Portafina are opting to offer their service online and over the phone from one central location. This can help to reduce the cost while still giving you the opportunity for personal interaction with your adviser.
2What it’s worth, published by ILC UK (November 2019)