how it works, what you get, and what it costs
how it works, 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, you get our full advice upfront, and with it an understanding of the real value on offer, without having to pay a penny.
Then you can decide what you want to do, at your leisure, in full knowledge of all the facts and the costs involved. No pressure, and no upfront fees.
There is no upfront fee to review your pension.
If you decide to act upon our recommendation then in most cases the money for our fee would be taken directly from your pension so you would not have to find it elsewhere.
How our service works
The first thing to say is that we are telephone and correspondence based, which means that you don’t have to travel miles to visit an office, or put up with a stranger sitting on your sofa in the late evening in order to sort out your pension.
Once you have engaged us the first thing we will do is to ask your current pension provider/s for some key information about the features, benefits, charges and performance of your current pension provision. Some providers (local councils tend to be the worst) can take a long time to provide this, but most companies now provide the information within a few weeks.
We then have some analysis work to do at our end before we contact you to arrange a telephone conversation with one of our paraplanner team. This is a conversation that helps us to understand some important facts about your circumstances, your current and future plans for this money, and how much risk you are prepared to take in order to grow your pension.
Then our advisers will get to work, putting all this information together in order to create a professional recommendation for you. We then send you a full report that details our recommendation, what it could mean for you, and how much it would cost if you decided to follow it.
Now it is down to you. If you read the report and think “thank you very much but I think I will stick where I am” then that is absolutely fine. It won’t have cost you a penny. If you decide you would like to follow our recommendation then you simply complete the forms that are in the pack and send them back to us. And we will take care of it. 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.
What you get from our service
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. You get our full advice and recommendation without having to pay a penny. 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. What we do know is that it won’t cost you a penny to find out. We will clearly explain the specific charge for what we are recommending, and in real money terms, in the full report that we send you so you can make an informed choice.
As an example in money terms, let’s look at someone who came to us with two personal pensions totaling £50,000 in value, that we recommended being switched to a more suitable and lower charging scheme with a completely different set of investments and accessible through a modern platform: