Pension Advice, Where To Get It?

The “pension freedom” changes to legislation a couple of years ago gave people more options on what to do with the money in their pensions when they retire. But for many, those extra choices mean there is more need for advice from a suitably qualified expert. Whether to cash in their pension, take part of it, or purchase an annuity are just some of the choices available. And the average “man in the street” may not feel able to make such judgements about the short and long-term advantages and disadvantages of each possibility.

BT’s “Lifestyle” website reports

“Final salary pension schemes can be straightfoward to the lucky few who have them – at retirement age they receive a percentage of their old salary every year to see them through their twilight years… But for those of us on defined contribution schemes, it’s rather more complicated, particularly now that the pension freedoms have come into force… It’s important at this point to make clear the distinction between advice and guidance. When then-Chancellor George Osborne launched his pension freedoms, alongside that pension guidance was born too… Pension guidance is meant to give you an idea of the different options that are open to you, and is provided by Pension Wise… Sessions run through the possible pros and cons of each option and the tax implications, and they are absolutely free. However, they will not advise you on what is the best option for you and your circumstances… If you want actual advice tailored to your own circumstances then you will need to see an independent financial adviser (IFA)… A good way to find an IFA in your area is with the Unbiased website – you can browse local advisers, or fill in a quick form and be matched with the best adviser for you.”