what you get and what it costs
A different way of doing things
Getting professional financial advice can often seem a bit chicken and egg. You are happy to pay for a service that gives you value back, but you can’t find out what that value is likely to be without first paying the adviser.
We understand this dilemma very well and that is why we set up our service to be a bit different.
With us, our initial investigation into your pension is free and in many cases we can continue to provide full advice with no obligation should you need it.
Full advice with no obligation
Full advice with no obligation means we will analyse your pensions and send you our recommendation report with no commitment on your part to pay us a penny. In your report we would let you know what we think you should do with your pension and exactly how much it would cost to follow our advice. You would then have a choice:
We can take this route for personal and private pensions where the size of your pot depends on how much money has been invested and how these investments have performed (also known as defined contribution schemes).
For any defined benefit schemes you may have, we would let you know if you qualify for full advice with no obligation after our initial investigation. Also known as final salary pensions, defined benefit schemes are usually administered by your company and promise to pay you a guaranteed income for life from a specific age. These types of schemes are increasingly rare and extremely valuable.
What if you don’t qualify for full advice with no obligation?
We would make this clear after our initial investigation. At which point we would be able to tell the client how much it would cost to carry on and receive full advice.
This fee would be payable regardless of our recommendation, which means someone could end up paying an advice fee out of their own pocket even though they do not end up accessing any money from their defined benefit scheme.
What you get from our service
Any advice charges would be confirmed in writing before you have to make a decision to proceed. This means you can walk away better informed with nothing to pay.
What is the value of the advice you receive? Quite simply, it can be life changing.
From giving yourself a better standard of living when you get older to solving long-standing financial difficulties once and for all using the pension freedoms, your pension is a powerful tool. Our service exists to help you to make the absolute most of it.
What does our service cost?
Our ongoing service
We charge 1% per year for our ongoing management of your pension.
What do you get in return for this? Your pension needs regular maintenance to ensure that it stays on track and in line with our recommendation for you. This is called rebalancing and involves buying and selling different funds within a pension that have performed in different ways in order to maintain the mix that we believe is best for you.
We review your pension annually which includes checking your circumstances and attitudes to risk haven’t changed. If they have then we will make the necessary adjustments. If you are over 55 and want to take or adjust an income from your pension then we will also take care of this within your fee. And of course we are here for you on the end of a phone whenever you need to ask us something.
Perhaps most importantly, you benefit from both the preferential rates we negotiate on your behalf with platform providers and what we believe are some of the best funds available in the UK.
As an example of ongoing fees in money terms, if you had £50,000 in your pension then 1% of this would be £500. And if your pension had grown to, say, £63,000 a few years later, then in that year 1% would be £630.
Our initial service
The costs for our initial service very much depend on what it is that you want to do, what our recommendation is, what type of pension you currently have and how large your pension pot is. The cost for then actioning our recommendation can vary from 1% for certain discounted annuities to 7% for a complex low value ‘pension freedoms from a defined benefit scheme’ case. Some cases are a fixed £500 fee and something like a defined contribution switch to a more suitable scheme is normally 3%. Our flexi-access drawdown fees are tiered, reducing for higher pension pot sizes, and we cap our fees for these and for switches so that only the first £350,000 has any fee applied.
We won’t be able to determine what charge is applicable until we make our recommendation, though, as we don’t know enough about your pensions or what we would be recommending yet. We will clearly explain the specific charge for what we are recommending, and in real money terms, before you have to make a decision to proceed or not.