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Do I need a financial adviser to switch pensions funds?

Helen | Dorset| 10/08/2018 | 4

  • Private Pension
  • Shares
  • Funds

Helen's question in full

Is it worth using a financial adviser when it comes to switching pensions funds, or should I do the research and pick the funds myself? I am no expert in stocks and shares.

Helena Wardle's Response

Good question, and the answer depends on your preference.

There's some tools and guidance out there, often available through your pension provider, which makes it a lot simpler for you to research and pick funds yourself.

A starting point would be to see what investment fund options are available through your existing pension contract as this can vary, and whether your pension provider offers you any fund research options such as comparison tools.

Websites like Boring Money and This Is Money offer some tips to help DIY investors, so it’s possible to get started on your own even if you're not an expert.

A financial adviser’s approach would be to try to understand your goals and objectives, investment timescale, tax implications, attitude to risk, and ability to take risk into account - to recommend a suitable fund for you and to help you plan for retirement.

In my dealings with clients, this is more detailed than just switching the investment fund. It often involves helping clients understand what to expect, and how investments and pensions work. You need to weigh up if you'd receive enough value from this, to cover the expense of using an adviser.

Financial advisers often offer a no obligation first meeting, which may give you a chance to explore if you would get value from their services. Just make sure you are clear on the charges, and what you can expect from their services. This can then help you decide if you prefer to pay someone to help you, or if you can do it yourself.

I hope this helps!

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Our Expert

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Helena Wardle

Helena is based at Sterling and Law's practice in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. She began her career in financial services in 2006 at the Nationwide Building Society and started advising clients in 2008. She's a Chartered Financial Planner with nine years’ experience providing regulated financial advice on everything from mortgages to estate planning. She’s also a qualified pension transfer specialist and all-round good sort.

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