You are always advised to get independent financial advice before making any decisions about your pension. Pension staff are not legally permitted to provide financial and investment advice.
The following organisations may be helpful:
The Pensions Advisory Service offer free and impartial advice to people with workplace and personal pensions.
Pension Wise is a free and impartial government service about defined contribution pension options. Please note that your LGPS pension is a defined benefit scheme – but there may be useful info on this site, especially with regard to transferring LGPS benefits to a defined contribution scheme.
The Money Advice Service offers free and impartial money advice, including pensions and retirement information.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulatory body for independent financial advisers.
The Personal Finance Society is the professional body for financial advisers. It provides access to appropriately qualified members who commit to the highest professional and ethical standards.
Unbiased is a website listing regulated and independent financial advisers, mortgage brokers, solicitors and accountants. It checks that everyone is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can also get information by calling their adviser customer services on Freephone 0330 1000 755.
All independent financial advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and a Diploma is the minimum requirement if an adviser is to be authorised.
Independent financial advisers are no longer entitled to receive commission from the providers of financial products. This is intended to make sure that any advice given is genuinely independent rather than driven by the amount of commission which an adviser might receive. The primary source of income available to the advisers is the fees which they charge to their clients.
What to look out for:
- There should be no charge for the initial meeting, at which the scope and cost of the advice will be discussed. However, you should check this with the adviser in advance
- A fixed fee is more common than a time-based fee.
- Most advisers publish their Terms of Business and Fee Structures on their websites, but will in any event provide these at the initial meeting or in advance upon request.
- Having determined the client’s requirements, the adviser will provide recommendations in the form of a written report.
- Advisers are now obliged to ensure that their clients are made fully aware of the risks inherent in any recommendations which they make.
Avoiding Pension Scams (or “pensions liberation”)
Advice on how to avoid pension scams can be found on the Pensions Regulator website