Pension Changes – “How to blow your pension”.
On Monday evening, (12th January 2015) Channel 4’s Dispatches current affairs programme was entitled “How to blow your pension”. Michael Buerk presented the results of various surveys which highlighted that most people who will have greater freedom of access to their pension funds in April this year, due to changes in legislation, are not in possession of the full facts regarding all their options and the consequences of taking action, without the help of professional, independent financial advisers can put them at a severe disadvantage.
The programme also gave examples of Insurance Companies, who hold millions of pounds in pension funds, not providing clear guidance and documentation to its customers when the need to take benefits arises. You could find that if you do not respond to correspondence from your Insurance Company within a certain time frame, they will automatically purchase an annuity with your pension fund, making assumptions about your circumstances which are incorrect. Annuities are no longer compulsory and there are many other options which could suit you better, but you are unlikely to discover what they are and select the best one for you without independent, professional guidance and help. Of course this will entail fees, but the cost of ending up with an unsuitable pension product could be much higher.
Take Professional Independent Advice
Towards the end of the programme an interview with a pensioner trying to survive on only the State Pension highlighted the dangers of spending all your private pension funds too soon. So tempting as it may be, come April 2015, to withdraw all or a significant portion of your pension savings for luxury goods or once in a lifetime holidays or experiences, care needs to be taken. Most people interviewed in the course of the investigation were happy with the new freedom and flexibility that the change in pension legislation brings about but they also have a requirement for a basic guaranteed income to last for the rest of their lives. If you want to be protected from the lifestyle that a ‘State Pension Only’ income will provide, it is essential that you take professional independent advice about your pension arrangements and do not rely on your Insurance Company other Pension Provider to arrange the best deal for you.
You can search for a reputable Independent Financial Adviser near you using www.unbiased.co.uk Unbiased list more advisers than any other UK adviser search, and they check that every one is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and unconnected with any product provider, so you can have peace of mind. At HGH Wealth Management Ltd we offer an initial consultation at our own expense (and many others on the unbiased register do the same) so you have nothing to lose by at least speaking with me and discovering more about your options. You do want to get the best out of your pension savings don’t you?
Nicholas Lawson B.Sc (Hons) PGDip BA Dip PFS
HGH Wealth Management Ltd
Mb 07808 627983