I am able to start drawing my DB + DC (one scheme) pension which is substantial and 'safe'. However I am considering a transfer to a drawdown arrangement. Who should I choose?

24 March 2021

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Question by Tony

Hi, at 65 I am able to start drawing my DB + DC (one scheme) pension which is substantial and 'safe'. However, due mostly to health considerations and required flexibility I am considering a transfer to a drawdown arrangement. Via IFAs and restricted/partner IFAs I am pushed towards a St James Place option, but am wary of the risks (are Sjp pensions covered 100% by FSCS as advised?), and the poor publicity with regard slick marketing/perks/charges.

Personally, I would be more comfortable with perhaps a more boring/safe option say Aviva, Halifax etc., even though the returns may not be so great; I also imagine the protection to be more 'obvious'. My frustration is that I can't find an IFA to work with me to simply identify and expedite such an option, or simply approach say Aviva, Halifax personally and engage them to advise and handle the transfer in one simple package, with minimal risk and anxiety. I appreciate you are unable to provide individual advice, but would welcome your views and comment.

Thank you

Tony.


Answered by Phil Billingham

Good afternoon Tony,

The good news is I have good advice for you. The bad news is that you are not going to like it….

The good advice is that you should engage an Independent Financial Adviser to review this for you. You pay them a fee for the report, and this fee should not be in any way contingent on you transferring or buying any product.

Please note that IFA stands for Independent Financial Adviser – there is no such thing as a ‘Restricted IFA’.

As you correctly identify, Restricted Advisers are usually more expensive. However, the regulatory protections are the same as you would get with the more traditional brand names.

I do understand your frustration, in that the regulator has taken the view that transfers out of Final Salary schemes are inherently bad advice, unless the circumstances are such as to be the exception.

This has made the process of giving advice in this area difficult and risky for Advisers, and so expensive for consumers.

But there is no choice, I’m afraid. If you want / need to transfer such a scheme, and you want it done properly by a competent, regulated and Independent adviser, then the process outlined above is the only way to do it.

I said there was bad news…..

Answered by

Phil Billingham

Director

I have been an Adviser, Planner, writer, trainer and business consultant since 1982.