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Pensions

The individual and group pensions market is an ever-changing world, especially with the introduction of the pension freedoms legislation, and it can be difficult to keep track of what options are available with regards to your retirement planning.

Pensions

The individual and group pensions market is an ever-changing world, especially with the introduction of the pension freedoms legislation, and it can be difficult to keep track of what options are available with regards to your retirement planning.

Mulberry Wealth Management Ltd work with you to consider all the options based on your needs and risk appetite. As part of the financial planning process, it is our job to blend the savings vehicles that will yield the most efficient income in retirement.

Planning for your retirement is possibly the most important financial decision you will ever make. With life expectancy increasing year on year, we are now seeing the potential to spend almost as many years enjoying retirement as we have spent saving for it. Planning for it correctly will provide you with the standard of living you wish after you stop work.

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which could have an impact on the level of pension benefits available.

Your pension could be affected by interest rates at the time you take your benefits. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future.

Do I need to take financial advice when considering whether to transfer my pension?

Pension transfers are complicated and seeking professional financial advice will help to ensure you are able to make fully informed decisions which are in your best interests.

Taking regulated financial advice is compulsory for anyone seeking to transfer ‘safeguarded’ benefits of more than £30,000.

This rule is there for your protection and applies to Defined Benefit / Final Salary Pension Schemes, Guaranteed Minimum Pensions (GMPs) and pensions with Guaranteed Annuity Rates (GARs).

What is the Pension Transfer Gold Standard?

The Pensions Advice Taskforce (an industry backed initiative from the Personal Finance Society) established a voluntary code of good conduct for pension transfer advice (the ‘Gold Standard’).

The Pension Transfer Gold Standard is designed to help you recognise and find firms that will give advice that adheres to high professional standards.

The '9 Principles' of the Pension Transfer Gold Standard are outlined below. For further information please download your 'Consumer Guide to the Gold Standard’.

An independent company called Money Alive have produced a short video which provides basic details about the different types of pension schemes. This will help you understand some of the issues around different pension arrangements.View video

Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.

Principle 1. Helping you understand when advice is appropriate

The value of guaranteed benefits available to members of a Defined Benefit or Final Salary pension scheme are such that for most a transfer to a Money Purchase arrangement, where you take on the investment risk of your pension fund, is unlikely to be in your best long-term interests.

So, it is important that you have enough information about the advantages and disadvantages so you can decide whether taking advice is appropriate, before you take it and incur any costs in doing so.

Principle 2. Ensuring advice given supports your overall wellbeing in the context of your stated objectives

We will help you understand how a transfer will benefit and fit in with your stated objectives, overall retirement plan and your long-term well-being. One outcome of the advice may be to recommend staying in your existing pension scheme.

Principle 3. Ensuring your understanding and acceptance of all charges

Pension transfer advice can be complicated and can sometimes be perceived as expensive. Before you incur any costs we will ensure you have a full understanding of exactly how much money you will be charged and when. If you proceed with a transfer we will ask you to confirm this understanding in writing.

Principle 4. Ensuring the most appropriate technical skills are utilised on your behalf.

We will ensure that our required Pension Transfer Specialist (PTS) holds qualifications applicable to both that role and for advising on investments, so they are qualified to advise you on the complete end-to-end transfer process including the ultimate destination of the transfer funds.

Principle 5. Help you understand how the adviser will manage any Conflicts of Interest

We will draw your attention to any Conflicts of Interest in giving pension transfer advice and how these are managed in your best interests.

Principle 6. Help you understand the cost to you of transferring your benefits.

We will provide you with a Transfer Value Comparator (TVC) which compares the transfer value being offered with how much it would cost you to buy back the guaranteed benefits you would be giving up, on the open market. We will also ensure that you understand how much you might be giving up to achieve your objectives by transferring, before a transfer takes place.

Principle 7. Avoiding unregulated investments and introducers.

Unregulated investments are one of the dangers and risks of any pension transfer. Consequently, we will only recommend mainstream investments from regulated investment companies (this may differ if you are an expert investor) and will not accept introductions from unregulated firms that provide, facilitate or otherwise arrange unregulated investments.

Principle 8. Help you understand the advice processes and recent client outcomes.

We will make available any reasonable requests you make about internal advice processes and Management Information. The latter will include non-personalised details in respect of all client/prospective client engagement over the past 12-month period, those referred into a triage process, those who subsequently went on to take advice and those who subsequently received a recommendation to transfer their pension.

Principle 9. Promoting the Consumer Guide.

We must ensure you have received the Consumer Guide to the PTGS before entering the advice process.

For more information download your 'Consumer Guide to the Gold Standard

Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.

Why the Pension Transfer Gold Standard is important to you.

People often underestimate both their life expectancy and the real value of their 'safeguarded' benefits. As a result you could make an expensive mistake by transferring valuable 'safeguarded' pension benefits without fully understanding the true lifetime implications or costs.

Mulberry Wealth operate to the Pension Transfer Gold Standard, ensuring you receive high quality professional financial advice on your options.

If you're considering transferring a final salary pension scheme or any other 'safeguarded' pension scheme please contact us for professional and independent pension advice.

Please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.
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