Pension advice you can trust. Ready to retire? Let’s get the most out of your pension

Say hello to your golden years

You’ve worked hard your entire life. Grafted and tackled those early starts. Been the ‘corporate version’ of yourself that life always seemed to demand.

But now is your time. We want you to enjoy your new found freedom in as many ways as possible. We’re here to help you create a plan that maximises your pensions and investments so that you can live the life you’ve always dreamt of.

Let's talk about your options

With so many options on the table, it can be tough knowing the best route for your pension investments. Luckily, that’s what we do; and we’re damn good at it.


We’ll look at your goals, wants and needs and design a bespoke plan on how and when to access your pension pot/s. Together, we’ll maximise your investment returns, ensure you never pay more tax than you need to and protect you from running out of money when you need it most.


Our pension drawdown calculator will help you pinpoint precisely how much you can afford to take out of your pension at retirement. You can adjust the answer based on retirement length, your pension pot size and your investment strategy.


You want to know what will happen to your money when you're gone; we fully understand that. We’ll show you the steps you need to take (and avoid!) to ensure your wealth is passed onto your loved ones in the most tax-efficient way.


Not sure whether drawing a tax-free lump sum withdrawal is the right choice for you? We’ll talk you through this and the many other ways you could access your pension, including the rules you need to keep in mind and what will get you the best return on your investments.

“Love every second of your retirement - you’ve earned it."

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Planning for your retirement

Discover everything you need to know about your pension options in retirement in our expert guide

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We understand the world of pensions inside out. So when it comes to your pension planning, we won’t give you the advice you want - we’ll give you the advice you need.

As pension specialists, we’re forward thinking and constantly improving;

We immerse ourselves in the market and know the intricate implications that can get in the way of you amplifying your investments and hitting your goals.

We also know the cost of bad advice. That’s why our specialist, tailored advice is second to none.

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How much will your pension be worth?

Use our pension forecasting calculator to see how much your pension could be worth by the time you retire.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does pension advice cost?

The cost of pension advice varies massively. The average Pension Advisor charges around 1% for advice. Most advisors have a tiered fee structure, so the more money you have, the lower the fee you pay. 

Advisors can also influence the amount you pay in investment fees. Most can help you find a better deal than the average online offers, but some may be tied to more expensive investment products.

You’ll typically pay around anywhere between 0.75%-1.25% per annum for ongoing financial advice (find our fee structure here).

We have seen some Pension Advisors charging as little as 0.35% – 0.5% but often find that when this is the case, they are outsourcing their investment decisions to a Discretionary Fund Manager, adding another layer of costs, which could typically run to a further 1% on top.

If you’re comparing pension advice costs, it’s important to understand all of the costs you could be incurring.

When you first engage a pension adviser, you’ll normally be paying for one of 2 things –

  • The initial work – provide advice, do research, set up your investments,
  • Ongoing management fees – manage your investments, rebalance your portfolio, reporting.

Pension Advisors don’t all charge the same way, so you might find it difficult to compare like for like. There are a number of ways you could be charged:

  • Flat Fees

Flat fees are a one-off charge for the advice and implementation you receive. If you are commissioning a report or setting up something simple like a SIPP you’ll probably pay a flat fee.

You might also pay a fee for the initial work and then a flat annual fee for reviews or for any additional work your adviser does.

  • Hourly Fees

Some advisors may charge by the hour for their work. You should be aware that with complex cases the research and time involved to conduct the work might be extensive. Make sure you are aware of how long the work is likely to take.

  • Percentage of the Investment

Most Pension Advisors will charge a percentage of your investment amount as an ongoing fee. Some investment work is highly specialist and you may be charged more for it.

The advisor is charging for their time, expertise and they are also charging for the risk that they are taking on as a business.


Other costs of pension advice

Aside from the upfront charge and ongoing fees for financial advice that you might pay there are other investment costs involved that your Pension Advisor advisor could influence. 

Depending on the advice they give, they could save you a considerable amount of money, or cost you far more than you need to pay.

You’ll pay investment charges whether you self-invest or use a financial adviser,

N.B. if you’re using a tied adviser (e.g. St James Place, High Street Banks) you’ll only be offered their own investments, which can, in some cases, be significantly more expensive than the alternatives available.

Types of investment fees involved:

  •     Platform product cost
  •     Investment fund cost
  •     Additional costs
  •     Annual SIPP fees,
  •     Drawdown charges,
  •     Transactional costs to change investments
  •     Exit fees

Read our full article on the costs of financial advice

Who can give advice on pensions?

A registered financial advisor can give you advice on most pensions, but if you have a pension that comes with protected benefits like a Defined Benefit Pension you’ll need to seek advice from a qualified pension transfer specialist.

As with most things, it’s best to seek out an advisor who specialises in the area you need advice in. 

Whilst, in theory, a mortgage advisor could give you advice on your pension, it’s not going to be their area of expertise and you’d be better off speaking to someone who knows that part of the market in-depth.

Pensions are not always straightforward. It’s important to get the right advice.

Free Guidance vs Advice

Financial advisors are legally bound by the advice they give, so they're unlikely to offer advice for free.

You may be offered ‘guidance’ rather than advice from some online firms.

Guidance simply lets you know what your options are whereas advice looks at your idividual circumstances and offers the best and most suitable solution for you.

If you receive free guidance, you’ll get general information but you'll need to do your research and try and decide the right move for you.

If you receive financial advice, the firm that offers it are duty bound to provide tailored advice that fits your personal circumstances and goals. You are also afforded consumer protections when receiving advice.

Always check whether you are being given ‘guidance’ or ‘advice’.

Are pension advisors worth it?

If you look at the research that shows that on average you’ll be around £40,000 better off over 10 years with a pension advisor, even after you account for their fees, then yes, we’d say they’re worth it.


Research by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) backed by Royal London found those who received Financial Advice added up to 39% more to their liquid assets and 21% more to their pension wealth.

Pension advice isn't just for the wealthy: The added wealth equated to an extra £43,245 for the ‘affluent’ set and £39,895 more for those deemed ‘just getting by’.

Should I self-manage my pension

The right financial adviser will be worth their weight in gold. It’s not just about investment returns, they are experts in the rules surrounding pensions and investments, the tax-efficiencies they can offer you alone more than cover their fees. Not to mention managing your risk, monitoring your investments and making sure they're on track.

We’ve spoken to too many self-investors whose investment strategies are exposing them to dangerous levels of risk that they are completely unaware of. A financial advisor will build your portfolio for growth but in a way that offers you some buffer from market dips.

The thing is pension advisors don’t just invest your money. They can help you build a whole life financial plan, one that includes weighing up all of your major financial decisions to find the best route for you.

They can also help you navigate the sometimes tricky area of tax-free cash to make sure that you’re never paying more tax than you need to.

The reality is, when it comes to our money, most of us make rash and irrational decisions that, despite making us feel ‘safer’ in the short term, may not make any logical sense and can negatively impact our long-term financial wellbeing. 

Unfortunately, over-confidence in self-investors is rife. Simon Garber, our pension specialist says “Many self-investors I speak to believe that they have created a portfolio that is lower risk than what they have actually created. Even after filling out a detailed risk questionnaire and having their portfolio analysed they will still believe that they know best.” 

These cognitive biases can be kept in check by a pension advisor, who will be assessing your position logically and rationally.


Read more here:

Should I consolidate my pensions?

If you have a lot of small pension pots or multiple pensions then Pension Consolidation could make it easier for you to track your money, control where and how you invest your pension and could reduce the fees you are paying.

Combining your pensions into one pot could:


  • Make it easier to manage your finances and track your retirement goals
  • Offer a greater choice of investment funds and access potentially higher returns
  • Offer increased flexibility for accessing your pension
  • Potentially lower your investment costs

If you have pensions with valuable guarantees, it might not be in your best interests to move it, even if it makes sense for the reasons listed above


Transferring your pensions could mean you lose valuable benefits you might not even know you have, so you have to make sure you get the right advice before you transfer anything.

If you're unsure, get in touch today and our pension transfer specialists can help you decide what's right for you.

Check out What to do with multiple pensions for more details of the pros and cons of combining your pensions.

Can I take my pension at 55 and still work?

If the idea of early retirement appeals to you, but you don’t quite have the retirement savings to fund a full early retirement, you might be looking for other solutions. 


The Pension freedoms announced in 2015 allow you to access your private pension pot from 55, which offers a whole world of flexibility in terms of retirement age and working in retirement.  You might be surprised at the number of options that are available to you for taking a pension early and continuing to work.


You can take your private pension at 55 and still work. And if you have a defined contribution pension you could access part or all of your private pension at 55 to fund a phased retirement or early semi-retirement but there are tax implications of doing this.


Want to know how much you might pay on a pension lump sum? Click here for 5 of the best calculators.


As soon as you take your pension as income you'll trigger the Money Purchase Annual Allowance, even if you later opt to stop taking an income from your pension. This has massive implications for the amount you can pay into your pension and still receive tax-relief on,


Learn more about the Money Purchase Annual Allowance.


Need help? Schedule a call to talk to one of our expert IFAs.

Where can I get free pension advice?

f you’re over 50 you can book a 45-60 minute free guidance call with PensionWise on 0800 138 3944, where an expert will explain your pension options to you. However, this is not advice and you’ll still need to do your homework and decide for yourself what to do.

You can also access free and impartial guidance and information for your pension at:


On our website you’ll find 


Take care when reading advice online that the person writing the article is qualified to offer advice and is not simply basing their advice on their own limited experience.

How can I calculate my pension?

You’ll find a selection of free retirement and pension calculators on our website.

Try our Pension Forecast Calculator to discover how much your pension could be worth over time and see how your investment strategy could affect the future value of your pension.

Our Retirement Savings Calculator will show you what you might need to save into your pension each month in order to reach your retirement goals.

Our Pension Drawdown Calculator will give you an idea of how much you can afford to take from your pension at retirement and show you how long your pension pot could last based on how much you withdraw.

If you’d like to speak to a pension advisor to calculate how much you might need to save for retirement, schedule a free call here