If you are considering a Final Salary Pension Transfer chances are that you will need to choose a Financial Adviser to help you. It is a regulatory requirement for Pension Transfers over £30,000 that you receive advice from a Qualified Pension Transfer Specialist.
It is important to understand that this is not just a box-ticking exercise, your Financial Adviser will need to carry out in-depth analysis on your financial situation and will have to provide a personal recommendation in order for you to transfer your pension. If they believe that it is not in your best interests to do so, you will not be able to transfer out of your scheme. They will provide you with the reasons why. This process is designed to protect you and your money.
If you proceed with a Final Salary Pension Transfer you will be taking over the responsibility for how your pension pot is invested so it’s likely that you’ll be working with your financial adviser for a long time, it’s important to choose someone qualified, experienced, trustworthy and someone that you are happy to work with on an on-going basis.
How to choose a Financial Adviser – Important things to check
- Are they authorised by the FCA?
- Are they a pension specialist?
- Do they have experience of Final Salary Pension Transfer?
- Can they provide references?
- What are their charges initial and ongoing?
Are they authorised by the FCA?
Make sure that the person you are dealing with is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and qualified to advise on Pension Transfers. This is a highly specialised field that requires professional qualifications. You can check whether your Financial Adviser is authorised to carry out this work on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register.
What to look for on the FCA register?
Firstly that the company’s status is Authorised.
Secondly, under permissions you should see a box that says ‘Advising on Pension Transfers and Pension Opt-Outs’ If the firm you are dealing with is not authorised to give advice, you should find a local Pension Specialist who is. If in doubt, you can contact the FCA.
Here is our FCA register entry https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000NMODtAAP
Do they have experience of Final Salary Pension Transfer?
Check that your Financial Adviser has relevant experience with Final Salary Pension Transfer. You can ask for references from existing Pension Transfer clients.
Ask them for details of their process. Who will be your contact? How will they keep you updated etc? It’s best to understand this now.
How much does your Financial Adviser charge?
Be sure you know how much your transfer is going to cost – now and in the future. Financial Advisor fees vary massively. Ask what fees will be incurred for
- The initial research and report
- Carrying out the transfer
- Costs for investing your money in a personal pension
- On-going management fees etc
It makes sense to shop around for the best deal, especially when it comes to on-going fees as these can make a big difference over time. Don’t be afraid to negotiate – it always helps if you know what other local advisers are charging for similar work.
You can find details of our charges here
Do your homework and be thorough. It’s important to find the right Financial Adviser for you.
You will need to speak to a professional but if you are considering transferring your Final Salary Pension, there are a number of free resources we would encourage you to take a look at.
Set up to provide free professional, independent and impartial help with their pensions
A government website providing information about the Pension Changes and options for Personal Pension Holders and those with workplace pensions.
A great resource for money advice. It also contains a handy budgeting tool.
Provides details about the scheme set up to compensate those with Defined Benefit (Final Salary) Pension Schemes if their scheme collapses.
We’ve also written some helpful pieces on our blog including ‘How much do I need to Retire’