Do I need a financial advisor?

An adviser will ask about your finances, personal circumstances, your goals and how you feel about taking risks with your money. This will help them to recommend retirement income products (e.g. flexi-access drawdown, different types of annuity) that are right for you.

Find out more about what an adviser might ask you from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

The more information you have prepared when you meet an adviser, the more you will benefit. This includes details of how much is in your pot and other income.

When to see a financial adviser

Consider speaking to a financial adviser if you want to:

  • invest your pot to get an adjustable income – an adviser can do this for you
  • mix your pension options
  • pay more money into your pension
  • receive advice about how to distribute money on your death through a will – they can advise on the most tax-efficient way to do this

You must get regulated financial advice, by law, if you have a:

  • final salary or career average pension (known as a ‘defined benefit’ pension) worth more than £30,000 and you want to transfer it to a defined contribution pension scheme
  • defined contribution pension worth more than £30,000 with a guarantee about what you’ll be paid when you retire (e.g. a guaranteed annuity rate) and you want to give it up to do something else with your pot

You should also consider speaking to a financial adviser if you want to do either of these and your pension is worth £30,000 or less.

Choosing an adviser

Check your adviser is authorised by the FCA.

Search the Money Advice Service’s retirement adviser directory to find an adviser.

Independent or restricted advisers

Always ask an adviser if they’re independent or restricted.

Restricted advisers are limited to certain types of products (e.g. only annuities) or the providers they can choose from. Independent advisers cover the whole market.

Paying for financial advice

The fees for getting financial advice vary. Before you get advice, ask the adviser:

  • what the fees and charges are
  • when you’re expected to pay
  • if there’s a fee for an initial consultation – many advisers offer this for free

You’ll pay a one-off fee if you see the adviser once or a regular fee if the advice is ongoing.

You may be able to access the Pension Advice Allowance towards paying for financial advice. This allows you to take £500 once a year and up to 3 times in total to pay towards the cost of financial advice. Not all pension providers offer this payment method, so you should check with your provider if it is available.

Find out more about choosing a financial adviser on the Money Advice Service website.