News & Views

When you should seek independent financial advice?

21st August 2018

In light of the recent publicity surrounding people losing their pension pot to criminal scams, it’s important to understand the options that are available to you.

If your investments, pension and mortgage are all straightforward, then there is probably limited benefit in seeking independent financial advice. There are a number of services out there that offer free or low-cost options.



The government have Pension Wise and the Pension Advisory Scheme, which will offer free information about the latest regulations and options available to you. They cannot however recommend products or solutions to you.

There are also now robo-advisors, which use computer generated modelling based on your attitude to risk, the length of time you intend to invest etc. Most robo-advisers can only help customers build an investment portfolio; they won’t tell you whether you should be investing in an Isa or pension or give guidance on retirement income. Typically charges for this service are less than 1%.

If your finances are a little more complex however, then you should probably seek independent financial advice as IFAs are authorised to give advice on suitable pension products, investment options and mortgage management.

IFAs can build full retirement plans that include tax planning, investments and long-term planning. You can also pay them to monitor your finances and adjust them accordingly. Typically, the cost independent financial advice is around £750 on average.

The benefit to customers of seeking independent financial advice can depend on how much they have done for themselves. Of course, people can also make their own bad choices too.

There is, however, one other thing you must do if you want you have any chance of retiring in style.

You must never take a cold call, talk with someone or even begin to dream of giving your money to anyone who offers a free pension review or to release cash from your pension early, however authorised they claim to be. Those that did and fell victim to pension fraud lost an average of £91,000 last year.

Andrew Hannay, Director of Robmac, recalls, “We had one client a while age who insisted on encashing his pension before the age of 50. Not only did he lose all of his pension funds to the scammers but ultimately this cost him a lot more than just money”.

Despite this attracting the attentions of the Pensions Regulator and The Financial Conduct Authority the incidence of Pension fraud is on the rise. Please be aware and on guard.

Our advice therefore would be to look at your own situation and consider whether there are any complexities associated with your financial position. If so then you should think about independent financial advice that will be able to make recommendations about your investments, pensions and mortgages.

If you would like to discuss your pension situation further with one of our consultants (without obligation), then click on the button and select a suitable time and date to arrange a meeting.