Whose Products & What Services Do We Offer?
We offer an ‘Independent’ service. This means that we are not restricted to using any one provider or using any particular products.
We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs. Our recommendation will be based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of the market.
We do not offer an ‘information only’ service we will always provide personal advice and a recommendation based upon your specific needs and circumstances.
We do not offer an ‘insistent client service’ for occupational/safeguarded pension transfers this means we will not implement pension transfers against our recommendations. We will, however, certify that you have received advice.
After thoroughly exploring your financial situation, goals and objectives, resources and attitude to risk as well as your capacity for loss and level of risk you need to take we will make an initial recommendation for pension products and investment funds as appropriate, this may, of course, include recommendations to stay with your current plans.
As part of the initial advice service, we will also implement those recommendations where accepted and to the extent that recommended product providers will allow. If we recommend against an action we will not implement it even if you insist. For example, if you wish to transfer away from your employer’s pension scheme and our findings and recommendations are that you would be better off staying. We will, of course, be happy to certify that you have had advice should you decide to make arrangements against our advice on your own.
If you elect not to take an ongoing service we will ensure that you are clear on how you can administer your new plans going forward. Where an initial advice service only has been selected we will not check or confirm that any recommendation remains suitable in future years as your circumstances and the legislative and financial landscape may change. Our obligation to you is discharged when your initial advice and recommendations have been delivered.
Ongoing Advice and Service
Ongoing advice can only be provided after initial advice and is not available on a ‘stand-alone basis’.
Ongoing Advice and Services include but are not limited to;
- At least one annual meeting in person or remotely to assess your arrangements and make any changes where necessary.
- Access to our in house investment portfolios that are managed on an ongoing basis.
- An online portal will be supplied to all clients who require one that will allow access to investment valuations, policy details and documents if supported by the individual products.
- Unlimited communication and administrative assistance during normal office hours.
- For clients with ongoing service, there are no further initial charges for moving money we are already managing for you from one plan to another. For example, moving investment monies to your ISA when your new allowance becomes available each tax year.
Where we feel that your plans are simple and do not require an ongoing service, for example, a ‘lifetime annuity’ or ‘fixed scheme benefits’ we reserve the right to refuse to provide an ongoing service.
What Will You Have To Pay For This Service?
Analysis of pension and retirement options is a time and resource-intense service. Therefore we offer initial advice on a ‘non-contingent’ basis meaning that our fee is payable whether you proceed with our recommendations or not.
In line with FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) directives to ensure that no particular recommendation provides more financial benefit to our firm than another, we offer our initial advice fees for Pension and Retirement planning on a fixed fee basis. This means the charge is not affected by the size of your funds.
We classify the initial advice as either Standard, Complex, or Safeguarded.
Standard advice would apply where you have 1 or 2 existing pension schemes to be analysed, that these schemes do not contain any safeguarded benefits. That you are pre-retirement and you have not accessed any pension plans, or had any crystallisation events.
The charge for “Standard” initial advice service is 2% of the funds advised upon subject to a minimum fee of £1,000.
Complex advice would apply where your scheme has a 'Guaranteed Annuity rate', you have more than 2 existing schemes to be analysed or you have already had a ‘crystallization event’ meaning that you have accessed a pension or put another pension into payment.
The charge for “Complex” initial advice service is 2% of the funds advised upon subject to a minimum fee of £1,250 where you have 4 schemes or less, the minimum fee is increased by a further £250 for every additional scheme beyond this
Safeguarded advice would apply where one or more of your pension plans has ‘safeguarded benefits’ that require advice from a pension transfer specialist. This would usually mean the scheme in question would be a pension with certain guarantees or an occupational pension with defined benefits.
We charge a fixed fee for Safeguarded advice of £5,000 for one scheme. If you have additional plans to be analysed at the same time each scheme will incur an additional charge. Each extra scheme that requires safeguarded advice will add £2,500. Each additional scheme that would simultaneously require “standard or complex” advice would be charged at £250 per scheme.
We can not ‘ignore’ additional schemes to reduce your bill as retirement plans require a full picture or the quality of the advice will be compromised.
The above definitions are not exhaustive, and we will confirm to you your fee before work commences after we have established enough information to categorise your situation.
There is no obligation to take ongoing advice. Where no ongoing advice is to be taken we will make recommendations for funds and providers that can be administered without professional support is required. For example, we will not recommend a portfolio of investment funds that may change their risk profile over time through ‘drift’, i.e. some funds performing better than others and skewing the risk profile.
Where an ongoing advice service is selected the cost will be 1% per year of funds managed subject to a minimum of £500 per year. Ongoing service fees are paid by monthly instalments equal to 1/12th of 1% of the balance of funds per month.
Ongoing charges: Where the funds being managed are below £50,000 the annual charge levied would not meet our minimum of £500 so a higher % charge will be set at outset to ensure the minimum charge is met. For example, if we were managing investments for you valued at £20,000 the charge would be adjusted to 2.5% per year to meet our minimum annual charge. Where a % increase has been set to meet minimum charging requirements the % will be adjusted at each annual review.
Ongoing service provision – Your right to cancel Should you decide to cancel our agreement to provide ongoing services, please provide written confirmation of your decision and we will cease your payments for these services within thirty business days and after collection of any due proportion of any periods of charges. Any payments already collected are not refundable and are deemed to have been for advice and support services and availability provided to date.
When & How Will You Have To Pay For This Service?
Initial Advice: The charges for initial advice are payable at the point that advice is issued.
For “Safeguarded Advice” the fee is payable regardless of the recommendation and whether you choose to act upon it.
For “Standard or Complex Advice” Should you decide not to proceed with the recommendations no payments would be due.
Should you decide to cancel the advice process after work has begun but before advice is delivered a charge equal to 35% of your expected bill will be issued to cover costs incurred.
Ongoing Advice: Ongoing advice charges are payable monthly at a rate of 1/12th of the annual total.
Where the investment is a regular sum rather than a lump sum the initial charge can be divided into 11 instalments, and collected by direct debit or deduction from the investment product.