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  1. #1

    Default pension advice please

    Hi there can you help with this please,
    I have contacted a financial adviser to have a look at my existing plan with Scottish widows,
    he told me that the plan i have is not very good as it is a with profits plan and is dead in the water,
    he has advised me to switch it to another company which has a fully managed fund and would be better than what i have just now.

    How can i be sure he is acting in my best interests and not his own,

    thanks for any advice.


  2. #2

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Could always get a second opinion with another financial advice company.


  3. #3

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Hello there.

    Have you had a proper report from the adviser with an assessment of your current plan and reasons for switching?

    We can't give investment advice here, but I would say to you that with profits and managed funds can be very different. You need to understand the risks and rewards involved and make an informed decision if you do change, otherwise you could be unhappy later.

    My best, HB


  4. #4

    Default Re: pension advice please

    In case it's helpful, here's a link to directgov on investment and savings advice.

    HB

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...ts/DG_10013701


  5. #5

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Hi HB,
    not had a proper report yet,
    he is bringing that next week.

    Would the fully managed one be better or about the same as the one i have?

    He said the new one is based on my attitude to risk.
    i suppose from that the new one is a bit of a risk,
    but will decide when i see his paper work,

    he said the one i have is not earning much and that i should switch
    as S/W do not let you move to a new plan with them if you have an existing one.


  6. #6

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by shuggler View Post
    Hi HB, not had a proper report yet, he is bringing that next week. Would the fully managed one be better or about the same as the one i have? He said the new one is based on my attitude to risk. So i suppose from that the new one is a bit of a risk, but will decide when i see his paper work, he said the one i have is not earning much and that i should switch as S/W do not let you move to a new plan with them if you have an existing one.
    Hello again.

    As I said, we're not authorised here to give investment advice. Personally I wouldn't have a meeting without seeing the report first and having time to consider it, but it's up to you.

    I'll try to find you some reading, because managed funds and with profit funds don't behave the same way. Could you tell us if you have a ' unitised' with profits plan with Scottish Widows please?

    I would also check out what you can and can't do with Scottish Widows about fund-switching if you think it's right for you, you can ring them yourself. And do you remember why you took out the plan at the time? Were you happy with it then?

    The adviser should define what he means by 'not earning very much' so you can, as I said before, make an informed decision.

    If I may say, you haven't been told enough to decide what is the best way for you to go and I'm not feeling very comfortable about how this is going so far. But I'm really pleased you've asked us.

    Can you tell us which insurance/investment company is being suggested as an alternative to SWF, or haven't you been told yet?

    HB


  7. #7

    Default Re: pension advice please

    It also depends on your age and if you have company pension as well?
    If below 40 you may be able to accept some risk on how the plan is managed and investments made.
    As you know not many making profits at the moment, but who knows in 10years time?
    Get a forecast from SW if do not alresdy have one.
    Also new plans are usually weighted up front on management fees/costs.
    LOt of info on line, suggest you do a bit of research!


  8. #8

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Hello again.

    I don't have any experience of theis newish service from the government. They're offering free, unbiased and independent advice.

    If you do contact them, it would be interesting to know how you find them.

    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/

    HB


  9. #9

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Sorry folks should have explained before,
    I have five years to go before I retire,
    the policy I have just now started in 1989 opted out of goverment state pension,
    not paid into it apart from tax & ins relief,


  10. #10

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by shuggler View Post
    Sorry folks should have explained before, I have five years to go before I retire, the policy I have just now started in 1989 opted out of goverment state pension, not paid into it apart from tax & ins relief,
    Hello again and thank you for elaborating.

    With 5 years to go, you should definitely think hard about whether you want investments/funds that are volatile or stable and predictable, like with profits used to be or maybe still is.

    Do you think you'll be able to do some research or talk to other advisers?

    HB


  11. #11

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Just wanted to jump in here, switching 5yrs before retirement is risky as any fees in switching have to be made up and also any loss incurred in those 5 yrs with risky funds also have to be made up.

    Yes with profits funds are often very steady away and may not have performed amazingly well but also they will not offer very much risk.

    I am concerned that the adviser mentioned said that you cant switch funds with Scottish Widows, this is simply not true as we do this for clients with Scottish Widows all the time. With the limited info I have and without wanting to presume anything you need to ask a few questions.

    - How much is the fee to transfer over?
    - Is the commission being taken upfront or over a time period (usually 4/5 yrs) The latter over a time period will end up costing you more.
    - How much is the renewal fee on the pension plan?

    You may also want to put in a call to Scottish Widows yourself and ask if you can switch funds if you want to just to confirm. and ask them what the fees for the plan are.

    If the adviser is switching to generate fees then you want to be careful as you may be paying for something you dont need. Of course he may well be offering a much better cheaper plan which can only be done be switching pensions but so far I am dubious...

    Good luck


  12. #12

    Default Re: pension advice please

    As you opted out,
    your state pension will be reduced by a considerable amount for that.

    I did that for a few years,
    but was advised to opt back in asap as you would not make up what you loose.
    ( I lost 50/week for just a few years out )

    I think it would unwise to switch now as the costs of setting up will be too high,
    you doont want to take any risks this late in the day IMO.

    In fact I would be looking at converting your annuity to a pension now
    and looking at thise options, including taking the tax free cash element.

    You realy do have to shop around to get the best deal.

    Your IFA should be giving you these options.


  13. #13

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Hi folks thanks for all your comments gives me a lot of info to ask the FA.

    I did speak to S/ widows who said that I could keep my pension with them
    but move it to a new plan with them
    will have to sort that out with thr FA
    and ask why he said I could not do this


  14. #14

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Had my meeting with F/A today,
    the fee to transfer over is 925.00,
    the renewal fee is half a percent.

    After talking to S/W last week the person i spoke to did say the plan i have at the moment was dead in the water
    and that i could not put any funds into this plan
    and offered a stakeholder pension,
    and if i wanted to move to something else i would have to use a F/A as the pension pot is over 10,000.

    On paper the plan being offered looks better than what i have at the moment, the new plan is with Scottish Life.


  15. #15

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Hello again.

    I'm not totally sure of what's going on here, but please bear in mind that we're not authorised to give advice here. I'm confused about what Scottish Widows have said, I have to say.

    My inclination would be to get at least one more independent opinion.

    My best, HB


  16. #16

    Default Re: pension advice please

    If you have I see in a post 5 years to go -forget it those funds take years to be any good, do not make my mistake years ago, managed funds seem in the past o.k. if a very long time to run, not short time. and you may have a written guarantee written in yours at the moment,

    Give you an idea, my pension ex company was a section 32, after 1st 3 years no annual funds added due to the economy, so the asset stayed the same for 20+ years, luckily I had it written in the contracT (make sure if you have = a guarantee), and the Insurance company had to honour the pension amount, otherwise it would be about half of what it is now I understand.


    Be careful here. Just a warning, to be honest I wish I never left the old company pension scheme as I would be better off and allowed to retire earlier than I did.

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  17. #17

    Default Re: pension advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by shuggler View Post
    Had my meeting with F/A today, the fee to transfer over is 925.00, the renewal fee is half a percent. After talking to S/W last week the person i spoke to did say the plan i have at the moment was dead in the water and that i could not put any funds into this plan and offered a stakeholder pension, and if i wanted to move to something else i would have to use a F/A as the pension pot is over 10,000. On paper the plan being offered looks better than what i have at the moment, the new plan is with Scottish Life.

    Stakeholder, once you hit 55 years old I found I could not increase pension payments to a fund I was contributing to, but could take out a stakeholder pension for say 10.00 a month the figure I wanted to increase the old pension,, (Gordon Browns idea that one)

    Great I get 111.00 less tax every 6 months. It is a minefield, and seems to me that the only people winning are the suppliers and advisers.


  18. #18

    Default Private pension

    I have a private pension that i'm looking to get access to this year,
    I had a financial adviser set this up for me a few years back and they have contacted me to give advice on how best to deal with it to my benefit,
    I have been told this will cost around 1,500 for the privilege,
    would this be the going rate or should I shop around,

    Any advice welcome thanks.


  19. #19

    Default Re: Private pension

    You could try talking to TPAS, the free pensions advice service.
    I believe they merged with Pensions Wise, who I would also have suggested.

    Hopefully they can tell you if your case is complicated enough to warrant spending 1500 on advice.

    If you decide to shop around after that, there's a website that helps you find IFAs, independent advisors locally.

    Maybe speak to TPAS and let us know how it goes?

    HB


  20. #20

    Default Re: pension advice please

    old and new threads merged...
    you are over 60yrs now?, there should be no penalty or need to pay anyone anything?


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