Pension Review

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Our pension review guide

As you get older and get nearer to retirement age, it becomes more important than ever to ensure you are making the right choices when it comes to your pension.

At St Barts Finance, we have put together a pension review guide to help answer any questions you may have in regards to your pension. Of course, if you’d rather just speak to a pension adviser straight away we are more than happy to help.

Simply use the above button to book an appointment or give us a call on 03300 562 218 and get your pension reviewed today.

retired couple looking at their pension review

What is a pension review?

Firstly, let’s discuss what a pension review actually is.

A pension review at St Barts Finance is carried out by our regulated financial advisors in a professional, unbiased way.

The team will look at your current pension scheme, or schemes, and give you an overview of how it performs, what risks there may be attached to it, and if you’re on the right track or could benefit from making changes.

Our pension reviews give you an independent and objective assessment of your pension, including the strengths and weaknesses of the arrangement to help you understand if it is still best for you.

We check the comparison between your pension fund and similar plans.

Essentially, a pension review is a great way to understand where you stand and find out if you’re getting the most out of your pension investments.

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Pension review process

Your pension review will involve an advisor looking for the following:

  • If your current pension products are aligned with your attitude toward risk.
  • Whether to merge your pensions together or keep them separate.
  • If you are on the right path to achieving your desired pension goals.
  • Poor investments and/or high management fees that prevent you from achieving your financial goals.

What are the benefits of a pension review?

Below are some of the benefits of our pension review service at St Barts Finance:

  • You could save money on fees
  • Provides more info on different pension schemes
  • Helps you work out how much you could retire on
  • Keeps you informed about any tax
  • Helps with an annuity or drawdown

How often should I review my pension?

By now you should know that it is very important to regularly review your pension in order to make sure that your retirement savings are sufficient so that you do not find yourself in financial difficulties once you retire. 

But did you know that many of us don’t do this? In fact, a recent study by Aviva has concluded that a whopping 25 percent of savers have never reviewed their pensions and many do not know how much their pension is worth.

Furthermore, only 19% of individuals reviewed their pension once every five years. One of the main concerns here is the lack of awareness you may have about the finer details of your pension plan.

For example, if you haven’t reviewed your pension in a number of years, there is a good chance that your provider may have altered your pension plan without you realising it, which could lead to higher associated fees. 

Generally speaking, reviewing your pension plan at least every six to 12 months is adequate and will ensure you have the most up-to-date information in order to make an informed decision.

Pension plan

What kinds of pensions can be reviewed?

There are two main types of pension in the UK that can be reviewed; these are defined contribution and defined benefit. These are usually workplace schemes arranged by your employer. The other type of pension scheme available is of course the state pension scheme, which you claim from the government. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Defined Contribution

A defined contribution pension plan or ‘money purchase pension’ as it’s sometimes known, requires both your employer and yourself to contribute funds into a pension pot. Examples of these include SIPPs, NEST plans and stakeholder pensions.

The size of your fund will depend on how much has been paid into the pot, how much tax relief you’ve received, and how well your investments perform.

In layman’s terms, a defined contribution pension is a type of pension that allows you to build up a pot of money over many years to be used when you retire at an agreed age. This type of pension is used by workplace pension schemes and personal pensions and is one of the most popular types of pension schemes available.

Defined Benefit

Defined benefit pensions, otherwise known as final salary pensions have become less popular over the last few years compared with defined contribution pensions. There are many reasons why this might be, such as employees working longer than they intend to because they become fixated on earning their “full pension” amount.

However, there are some benefits to this scheme that may suit some individuals. For example, defined benefit schemes give you a guaranteed annual pension worth a certain amount at retirement. The value of your pension depends on your earnings, how long you’ve worked for your employer and the terms of the individual pension scheme. 

This can be helpful to plan for your retirement as it will be easier to work out your predicted income when you’ve given up work.

State Pension

The State Pension is a regular payment made by the government to individuals reaching the state pension age. The amount of State Pension you receive depends on the number of ‘qualifying’ years you have accrued. This includes National Insurance contributions from both periods in which you have been working and from any period during which you have been unable to work.

Currently, the state pension is £185.15 per week. To find out more information about state pension it’s worth checking out gov.uk

Let’s look at some FAQ’s on state pensions…

How much will a pension review cost?

Pension review cost is usually dependent on which financial advisors you use. Different pension advisers will have a different pay structures from others so it’s always important to make sure you discuss this in advance.

Although it’s hard to say what the exact cost will be, here are some of the usual charges you can expect:

  • Hourly rate: One common way to charge clients is by the hour. While the hourly rate can vary, the average rate for the UK is around £150. It’s important to ensure you find out how long you will need your advisor so you can determine how much it will cost.
  • Fixed fee: Another very common way is charging a fixed fee for each specific service. This is a popular option as you’ll know exactly how much things costs and be able to compare them with other advisors.
  • Percentage of assets: Some advisors may charge a percentage of a client’s portfolio as compensation for their services.

Book your pension review today

If you’ve enjoyed this pension review guide and want to find out more information then please get in touch with a pension advisor from St Barts Finance today. 

It’s always best to speak to a professional when dealing with your finances. Our pension advisors are fully qualified and regulated and have years of experience in the financial sector. 

Give us a call today on 03300 562 218 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, you can use our online booking system to speak with an advisor directly.

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