Doing It Yourself

There are many reasons why we recommend professional guidance, support or advice when dealing with your financial and retirement affairs. That said, we truly believe in having choice and the right to make your own decision. This includes not taking financial advice.

There are certain pensions with guaranteed, safeguarded, protected or occupational benefits that will require advice. This is a legislative requirement introduced when the pension freedoms were put in place last year.

For those personal and stakeholder pensions that don’t require advice, you always have the option to organise your retirement plans yourself and implement them with your chosen provider.

The steps below should help take you through the process:

  1. Request up-to-date information from your pension provider. The following document shows what information we, as an advisory firm, request: Link to document.
  2. Understand the information and use our retirement option reports to understand the type of retirement option you require. You can compare the annuity options being offered by your current scheme against the annuity and enhanced annuities from the rest of the market.
  3. Download the application through www.pensionstoretirement.co.uk and apply to the new provider to process a pension transfer or open market option.
  4. Make sure you complete the right forms from your current pension provider. This could be a transfer discharge form, an open market option form or taking benefits form.

Five tips when doing it yourself

  1. Make sure you understand the type of retirement product you want—annuity, flexi access drawdown or a combination of both—and the tax implications to you and your family.
  2. Do you have any lifestyle or medical considerations that could increase your income? Run a live enhanced annuity quote now to find out.
  3. Understand what your current pension provider offers you and look out for any early penalties.
  4. Use our directory of information and documents library which provides lots of help from completing forms, documents required and pension jargon.
  5. Remember to check everything has been set up correctly and don’t be afraid to challenge either your old pension provider or your new retirement provider as they do get things wrong.

Tip of the month

If looking to get an annuity or enhanced annuity, the service and speed of transferring the funds can make a significant impact on your retirement. Ensuring they transfer within your annuity guaranteed period means you get the best rate, and the sooner the funds arrive, the more money you will receive. Taking the highest annuity offer from a company providing slow or poor service can, in fact, mean less money.